NEW DELHI: Delhi’s municipal corporations have started issuing notices to hotels and guesthouses warning that their health trade licences would be revoked if they failed to follow the new norms.
The move comes after the enforcement of the new fire safety rules.
Arun Gupta, general secretary of Delhi Hotel Association, said that owners of 30 hotels in Paharganj and four in Karol Bagh have been given notice about their licences being revoked. Officials from the public health department of north corporation said that the notices are being issued based on the survey of all such establishments post the Hotel Arpit Palace fire in Karol Bagh.
Many guesthouses have been closed since the fire safety rules were amended and notices are expected to be served to 80 hotels.
The association argued that enforcement of rules retrospectively defies the logic of natural justice. Gupta asked that if the master plan allows buildings with a height of 15 metres, then why are hotel owners being harassed? The buildings in Karol Bagh and Paharganj are protected by Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act. How can the state government defy a central Act?
Delhi has around 1,600 guesthouses and the association estimates that around 400 will be closed if the new regulations are enforced. In July, notices to cease operations were issued by Delhi Police to 25 guesthouses. Gupta said that the new norms might lead to closure of over 200 guesthouses in City Sadar-Paharganj zone alone.
Gupta said that the new policy formulated after the Hotel Arpit Palace fire was put in force last month. The fire department issued an order on June 24 stating that no objection certificates will not be issued to hotels and guesthouses that have more than four floors, excluding the basement and stilt. The municipal corporations were also asked to ensure that the owners demolish additional floors prior to seeking fire safety clearance.
A survey is being carried out in areas like Nabi Karim, Mahipalpur and Patel Nagar where guesthouses are operating in buildings with more than three floors, officials said.
Source: ET Realty