City’s well known food chain Haldiram Foods has been the favourite child of controversy for quite some time, be it the matter of functioning on fake approvals, or illegally tapping in water from NMC’s trunk line at its water park, poor quality of foods or keeping the future packaging dates on its handy packs. The latest case has cropped up to expose the unauthorised erection of store rooms on the space meant for parking at one of the Haldiram’s restaurant at Shankar Nagar square. Due to this evident problem, the visitors at the restaurant haplessly park their vehicles by the road side, obstructing the smooth flow of traffic.
Sources said the basement at Haldiram’s Shankar Nagar restaurant is being used for commercial purpose whereas the space was shown as meant for parking in their approval plan. The brazen violation has been going on since the outlet started its operations.
However, the information extracted by an RTI activisit spilled the beans over the illegal use of basement. Later it surfaced that the then Ward Office Mahesh Morone allegedly granted “occupancy certificate” to Haldiram’s outlet despite knowing about the violation.
The scrutiny of concerned file revealed that the file with Occupancy Certificate also carried the notice under section 53 of MRTP act (meant for removing unauthorised structure). However the succeeding Ward Officer Rajesh Karade too remained tight-lipped over the issue, until the pressure was mounted upon him. Succumbing to the pressure, Karade was reportedly left with no option and had to clear the formalities to serve notice to Halidram’s. After Karade approved the decision, Halidram’s Group received the notice on August 14 or August 16, 2014 to remove the structure. As per the rule, if the party fails to comply with the orders, then NMC had to take the onus upon itself to demolish the structure. Left aghast by the NMC order, Haldiram’s Group eventually intimated Dharampeth zone office about felling the illegally built structure, however the final decision would be taken by NMC squad after visiting the concerned premises at Shankar Nagar.
Crores of property tax still unpaid
Haldiram’s had been earlier caught into the eye of storm with the allegation of selling the outsourced products by labelling its brand on it, through its various outlets. More recently, the case of printing future dates on its handy pack of banana chips has surfaced which has raised serious concern about Haldiram’s products among the customers, who have been blindlly trusting its products till now. The group’s Krazy Castle water park has also appeared in bad light owing to its series of violations including defaulting on property tax to the tune of crores of rupees. Till this time, no inititiative has been taken either by civic body or Haldiram’s itself to pays its dues.