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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Calcutta Municipal Corporation will not allow any restaurants to operate in residential buildings

Trade licenses of eateries operating from such properties will not be renewed

Subhajoy Roy Calcutta Published 13.06.21, 03:05 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Shutterstock

The Calcutta Municipal Corporation will not allow any restaurant to operate from a residential building, Firhad Hakim, the chairperson of CMC’s board of administrators, said on Saturday.

Civic officials said that according to law, restaurants cannot operate in a building that has even one residential apartment.

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A senior official of the CMC said that the law considers restaurants as “hazardous business”, which cannot be allowed to operate from a residential apartment. There are 42 types of “non-hazardous” businesses like grocery stores, which can operate from residential buildings, the official added.

Trade licenses of restaurants that operate from residential buildings will not be renewed any longer, Hakim said.

Civic officials said that scores of cafes and restaurants that have been set up in several residential apartments are not supposed to function any longer.

“Restaurants cannot function from a residential building. We will not allow any restaurants to be set up in a building that has even one residential apartment. There have been instances of fire in such buildings in the past. When a fire breaks out in the ground-floor restaurant, it becomes difficult to evacuate people from such a building. All buildings do not have two staircases, so evacuation becomes a challenge,” Hakim said. “We are not renewing trade licenses of such restaurants that were set up in residential buildings.”

Civic sources said that in the past, restaurants were set up in residential apartments and they were given trade licences since there was not much stress on fire safety measures. But after instances of fire in residential buildings that started from restaurants in these buildings, the civic body decided to bring the bar.

The civic body has planned to grant 10 per cent additional floor area ratio (FAR) to commercial buildings, without even one residential apartment, so that restaurants can be set up in these buildings. Additional FAR means that the building will get special allowance to build extra floor space, more than what is usually allowed in a plot of that size on that road.

Hakim said the civic body wanted commercial buildings to come up where there can be a mall, restaurants and offices in the same building.

The civic body has sent the proposal of giving additional FAR to the municipal affairs department so that it can be made into law, Hakim said.

“It is the police’s responsibility to check if such restaurants are still operating. Usually, fire licenses are not granted to such businesses running from a residential building,” he said.

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