61 illegal hotels, guesthouses to be demolished in Powai-Kurla | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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61 illegal hotels, guesthouses to be demolished in Powai-Kurla

Feb 02, 2024 07:40 AM IST

Any hotel or guesthouse that has been built after 1962 and does not have passed plans from the BMC’s building proposals department prior is branded unauthorised. “Notices were served to private commercial premises that were in existence after 1962. They didn’t have proof of the cut-off date of 1962

MUMBAI: Following complaints of alleged illegal activities under the guise of providing lodging facilities, the BMC’s L ward on Thursday handed out 61 demolition notices to unauthorised hotels, guesthouses, lodges and dormitories. L Ward’s building and factories department has also issued 87 notices to the above entities.

61 illegal hotels, guesthouses to be demolished in Powai-Kurla
61 illegal hotels, guesthouses to be demolished in Powai-Kurla

The action is pursuant to complaints received by civic chief Iqbal Singh Chahal of the goings-on inside hotel rooms and guesthouses in Kurla, Saki Naka, Powai, Chandivali and parts of Sion. Harshad Kale, deputy municipal commissioner, Zone V, said that alleged prostitution involving underage girls in certain guesthouses was brought to the notice of the L ward office.

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“I directed the ward officer to issue notices within the ambit of the MMC Act to verify the authenticity of the guesthouses, and we sent references to the police for other illegal activities,” he said. “We have been receiving complaints since last year.” Kale said that most guesthouses in the densely populated Kurla area were ground-plus-one and ground-plus-two structures.

Any hotel or guesthouse that has been built after 1962 and does not have passed plans from the BMC’s building proposals department prior is branded unauthorised. “Notices were served to private commercial premises that were in existence after 1962. They didn’t have proof of the cut-off date of 1962,” said Kale.

Nitin Kamble, designated officer, L ward, said that demolition notices had been served to 61 entities from Powai to Kurla and near the Somaiya College boundary in Sion. “Seven police stations have jurisdiction in L ward, which also include Chandivali, Saki Naka and Chunabhatti,” he said. The L ward health department has also issued notices to 94 unauthorised hotels and guesthouses functioning without the requisite permissions.

A few of the alleged unauthorised hotels and guest houses have moved city civil court and got a stay on the BMC’s demolition notice.

An L ward official said that an NGO called Citizen Sanstha last year blew the whistle on the illegal activities in lodging facilities and raised the issue with Chahal in December, followed by meetings with Kale. Sayyed Masoom Ali, founder and president of Citizen Sanstha alleged that in some guesthouses in Saki Naka and Kurla, underage children were being escorted by men. “Our objection is to running a guesthouse in a residential zone,” he said. “The landlord gets 1.5 lakh monthly rent for a place where the actual rent is 50,000. We are not against guesthouses but object to illegal activities. One hundred and fifty women from our women’s group will protest at the BMC headquarters next week.”

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