Nagpur: Muslim Library Canteen (ML Canteen) in Mominpura, the eatery which had doused the midnight hunger pangs of generations of Nagpurians, was razed to the ground on Thursday. Famous for its biryani and running till late in the night, the joint was subject to NMC’s anti-encroachment action. The nearly century old place had its own platter of controversies with the civic body.
Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) authorities demolished the canteen functioning on land leased out to Muslim Library. ML Canteen, as it was known popularly, was declared illegal as the land was meant for library. Besides some other eateries that had sprang-up on the ML land were also removed as part of the anti-encroachment drive.
About 13,400.625 sq. ft. of land was allotted to Muslim Library by NMC on 30-year lease free of premium. On the same land, ML Canteen was constructed which the civic body officials said was illegal. A writ petition was also filed in Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court in March, 2017, after NMC asked ML office bearers to vacate the land. After the hearing, the High Court directed authorities to take action as per rules prescribed in Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Rules, 1966.
In view of the court directives, officials of Gandhibagh Zone of NMC issued notice. A portion of ML Canteen was pulled down on May 10 by the authorities. The owners of ML Canteen again approached the HC seeking stay against NMC action. NMC then deferred the action and gave time till May 13,2022,to ML Canteen and other eateries to remove the structures on their own. Finally on Thursday, NMC razed the illegal structures on the leased land.
The NMC squad reached at 8 in the morning and soon ML Canteen was reduced to rubble. With no lease, now even the Muslim Library is on encroached land. In future, even the library premises can be subject to action, which includes demolition, said the NMC official
During the drive, two JCB were pressed into service to remove the illegally constructed buildings. A strong police posse ensured that no one interfered with the demolition. Sr. Police Inspector Trupti Sonone, Inspector Vinayak Kolhe were present throughout the action. The demolition was carried out by Enforcement Department’s team comprising Abhijit Netam, RajeshTelrandhe, Junior Engineer Shyam Dharmamali, under supervision of Deputy Commissioner Ashok Patil, Enforcement Superintending Engineer Shrikant Vaidya, Establishment Officer Parashar, Pravin Kotangale and Deputy Engineer Sanjay Kamble.