Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has on Friday ordered Sell Ads – a local publicity venture, to deposit entire rent amount it had received till today from food kiosk owners at Telangkhedi (Futala) lake, latest by Monday. Till then Sell Ads could not undergo any transaction in its bank account, the court ruled. The high court bench comprising Justice BP Dharmadhikari and Justice CV Bhadang, has also maintained status quo on the order to close down 9 shops at the venue, while asking the shop owners to first deposit Rs 2 lakh each, with the court. Meanwhile, the owners of food kiosks at Futala Lake have kept their shops closed for the last four days to protest against the NIT’s move to demolish some of the shops.
It may be mentioned that Nagpur Improvement Trust has given the space facing Futala lake on the either side of the road to Sell Ads with a compulsive clause that the said contractor cannot sublet the space to anyone. The agreement clearly said that Sell Ads itself has to build the kioks and run and it cannot give the space to any other party. However, in sheer violation of the agreement Sell Ads rented out entire shops to different vendors. He has reportedly also charged heavily from each of the vendors.
Hearing on the petition filed by local RTI activist Sanjay Agrawal, the court ordered Sell Ads to deposit entire amount collected in the form of rent, by July 27.
Meanwhile, the 9 shopkeepers whose shops were shut down by NIT, have been told to keep their shops shut unless they deposit the amount of Rs 2 lakh each to the court. The bench ordered them to remain shut till August 5, when the matter will again come up for hearing.
Advocate Surendra Mishra represented petitioner Sanjay Agrawal whereas Advocate Ritesh Kalra defended the shopkeepers’ side.
Meanwhile, speaking to Nagpur Today, the owners of food kiosks at Futala Lake said on condition of anonymity that all the owners have kept their food kiosks closed except for 5 shops/eatery or food kiosk namely Babbu’s, Domino’s, Tauby’s, Trio’s and Kapoor’s Dhaba.
The other owners of food kiosks at Futala Lake who had kept their shop closed said that the total loss that they incurred in the past four days jointly amounts to Rs 2.5 to 3 lakhs.
The owners of food kiosks at Futala Lake said that the court will certainly find out who the culprit is in the entire fiasco. He also said that the Court should punish such fraudsters who make use of government land for personal gains through illegal means.
Owners want food kiosks to be regularised
The owners of these eateries, want that their food kiosks to be regularized. Out of 5 year’s contract, one or two years are only over. The court should atleast fulfill the contract term.
Road-side vendors doing brisk business
Taking advantage of the closed food kiosks, the road-side vendors, selling Maize-Corn (Butta), Behl-Puri, Tea, Ground-nuts, etc, are doing brisk business. They are encashing on the fact that people come for some moments of relaxation and come with their families. So obviously, they would like to eat some eatable. However, the citizens have to resort to unhygienic food, prepared in unhygienic manner. The rains some-how does not seem to deter them from setting up their stalls, since they know that they have sure-shot business at least for the last four days.
Youngsters feel the pinch
Youngsters often visit Futala Lake for their outing, rendezvous point, or simply for eating out at good scenic settings. However, they are feeling let down or cheated when they are finding their favourite food joints closed.