Pune, 16th January 2024: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and Guardian Minister of Pune, Ajit Pawar, has called for strict action against rooftop bars and hotels in the city. However, discrepancies have emerged as the Municipal Corporation claims that notices were issued by the Collector’s office, a claim now contradicted by the Collector’s office.
It appears that the Municipal Corporation’s construction department may have been misled, possibly under pressure to take action against rooftop establishments. Despite the Guardian Minister’s directive to form a committee for action, no such committee has been appointed, raising suspicions among citizens about a potential collusion between hotel owners and the administration.
In a meeting between the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister in Mumbai, discussions were held regarding taking stringent measures against rooftop hotels in Pune. Pawar suggested the formation of a committee for decisive action against illegal hotels. A joint meeting involving the Collector, Municipal Corporation, and State Excise Department is planned to appoint a committee to address the issue.
The confusion arose when the Municipal Corporation’s Construction Department claimed that the Collector’s Office had issued notices to 26 rooftop hotels in the city. However, requests for the list of hotels and copies of the notices were met with delays and conflicting responses from officials.
While Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar had initially assured that the issue would be resolved by the appointed committee, conflicting statements have surfaced. Engineer Yogendra Sonawane initially stated that the list would be provided in a few days but later claimed that the construction department did not possess the list, directing inquiries to the Collector’s office.
In response to these conflicting statements, the Collector’s office denied issuing any notices, putting the responsibility on the Municipal Corporation’s construction department. The confusion has raised questions about the authenticity of the notices and the coordination between administrative departments.
Rooftop hotels have faced scrutiny for potential safety hazards and illegality. While the Municipal Corporation has taken action against such establishments in the past, doubts linger about the effectiveness of these measures. Concerns about potential law and order issues, increased incidents around these venues, and the responsibility in case of accidents or untoward incidents remain at the forefront.
As the dispute unfolds, citizens are demanding transparency and clarity on the actions taken against rooftop hotels and the legitimacy of the notices issued. The controversy highlights the need for a coordinated and accountable approach from authorities to address the concerns surrounding these establishments.