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‘No Licence to Serve Hookah’, BMC demolishes rooftop joint Koyla

Thursday, February 8, 2018, 17:00 Hrs  [IST]

According to various media reports, acting on complaints of allegedly flouting norms, the BMC has demolished the premium rooftop Koyla restaurant in Mumbai’s Colaba. The restaurant was allegedly serving hookah and food illegally on its rooftop venue. In a joint operation carried out by civic body officials and the fire brigade, several hookahs were seized from the joint as they razed areas of the rooftop restaurant.

The restaurant’s electricity and water supply were cut off during the demolition drive a day after the BMC issued a notice to Koyla’s owner. The civic body had asked the restaurant’s open-air extension be shut down for the want of permissions. Koyla’s owner Farhan Azmi, however, took to social media to post pictures of the BMC’s notice granting the restaurant permission to operate a rooftop restaurant.

According to a report by Mumbai Mirror, the first inspection at Koyla was carried out on December 30, 2017, and a second inspection was conducted on January 15, 2018. In both instances, three BMC officers gave the restaurant an all-clear, despite the restaurant not possessing the required permissions. The report further states that the officers circumvented the rules by inspecting the restaurant at 4.30 pm and 5 pm, when no rooftop restaurant in the city is open.

“During the inspection of the restaurant, which operates from the terrace of Kamal Mansion near Radio Club in Colaba, our team found tables, chairs, counters, etc., due to which it became evident that the restaurant was cooking food and serving hookah on the terrace, which is illegal. We had, on December 30, seized the tables and chairs and the counters. However, we have received a complaint with photographs and videos, which show the restaurant has been flouting the norms again. We have issued a notice and the restaurant will be inspected again. If we find violations again, we will take legal action,” said Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Commissioner of A Ward to The Indian Express.

The inspection at Koyla was initiated a day after 14 people were killed in a fire at two restaurants in Mumbai’s Kamala Mills. The fire that started at the rooftop restaurant – Mojo’s Bistro from the embers of a hookah and spread to the adjoining 1Above restaurant. Soon after the tragedy, the BMC went on an overdrive, sealing and demolishing restaurants that operated across the city. Azmi’s restaurant – Koyla – however, was left untouched after being cleared by civic body officials.

As of now, Koyla restaurant, spread across an area of 19,000 sq ft, remains shut until further notice.

(Source: The Quint)

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