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Eatery owner pulls down illegal walls
- Cong-led SMC board to launch drive against buildings that violate rules

Siliguri, Nov. 21: The illegal portion of a building in which a restaurant is coming up on Sevoke Road for which north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb had hauled up the civic commissioner recently is being pulled down by the eatery owner.

The Congress-led board of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation that had been accused of taking bribes and allowing such constructions has decided to start a drive against illegal structures from November 23.

Deb had pointed out that rooms were being constructed illegally in the parking area of a three-storied building on Sevoke Road where a restaurant is coming up. The minister had also instructed civic commissioner P.D. Pradhan to stop the construction and demolish the illegal portion of the building.

Pradhan had served a notice on the restaurant owner on Monday asking him to pull down the illegal parts in three days.

“We have information that he has started dismantling the illegal construction,” Sima Saha, the Congress member mayor-in-council (building), said today.

“We will launch a drive against illegal buildings in the civic area from November 23.”

The civic body has identified 250 buildings that are totally or partly illegal she added.

Pratap Kedia who stays next to the commercial building where the restaurant is coming up, said: “I have seen some workers pulling down the walls raised illegally. The restaurant owner has also built a kitchen in the basement, which contravenes the West Bengal Municipal Building Rules, 2007. I will draw the attention of the civic body and the fire service officials on the issue soon.”

Section 70 of the West Bengal Municipal Building Rules, 2007, states that a kitchen, washroom or water closet cannot be built in the basement of any building.

“We had built a temporary structure with verbal approval of the neighbour (Kedia). Now that the civic body has directed us to dismantle it, we have started pulling it down,” said restaurant owner Rajinder Jalan.

Deb said: “The mayor, MMIC (building) and Congress councillors should adopt a proactive stance to discourage the trend.”