CHENNAI: If you take a stroll around Anna Nagar, you will notice that five restaurants in the posh locality have been shut down, interestingly, for the same reason. These restaurants — Hotel Junior Kupanna, Hotel Virundaali, Star Biriyani, Aachi Kitchen and Cool ‘n’ Café — claim that they are closed for renovation, but the seals placed by the Corporation tell a different story. They have been shut for running without proper licences.
City Express has learnt the five restaurants were denied the mandatory no-objection certificate by the traffic police as they did not provide customers adequate parking space. Hence, the corporation did not grant them trade licences, but the restaurants reportedly continued to run. After a PIL by S Ragu, the Madras High Court on April 28 ordered that the restaurants be shut down. “We were acting on the High Court order and found that they were operating without valid trade licenses,” a corporation official from Zone 8 told City Express. The notices were served on April 30 and the restaurants were sealed. Under local planning norms it is mandatory for restaurants to provide parking space based on their seating capacity. As this parking space is unavailable, customers tend to park vehicles on the road, causing congestion.
“Now and then traffic piles up because of to customer’s vehicles on the roads,” admits an employee at one of the restaurants. However, staff of almost all these restaurants maintained that they were closed only for renovation. “There is no issue sir; the restaurant is just under renovation and will be functioning again within a week,” said a staff at another hotel. An official of Hotel Virundaali agreed that the hotel was sealed. “But we have now provided space for customers to park within our premises. We have also made an agreement with a nearby apartment to provide more parking space. We expect to receive the trade license within three days,” said Murali, the branch manager of Hotel Virundaali.