CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Monday prohibited kalyan mandaps in the city from registering new bookings without adhering to prescribed guidelines.The Court imposed the restriction on Monday after Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) failed to give a compliance report on adherence of guidelines by kalyan mandaps.
The division bench of Chief Justice KS Jhaveri and Justice KR Mohapatra also fixed December 16 deadline for CMC to submit a report with individual details on adherence of rules by all kalyan mandaps operating in the city. The report should be based on inspection under the supervision of the Commissioner, the Bench stated.
The High Court has been monitoring functioning of kalyan mandaps in the city since it registered a PIL basing on a letter petition, on traffic chaos leading to congestion on roads during social functions in banquet halls as most did not have parking areas.
The High Court had appointed advocate Arun Kumar Budhia as amicus curiae to assist the court in the case on August 28, 2015. In September, 2018, the amicus curiae reported that many of them were not adhering to the prescribed guidelines, but were allowed to operate on the basis of conditional licence.
On March 27, 2019 HC directed CMC Commissioner to ensure all kalyan mandaps adhere to the prescribed guidelines and file a compliance report by April 29. On November 18, it had allowed time till December 2 but, when the matter came up on Monday the CMC counsel requested HC to grant two more weeks.
The prescribed guidelines made it mandatory for kalyan mandaps to earmark 40 per cent of built up area for parking. However, those functioning for at least five years were allowed to earmark 20 per cent of built-up area for parking on the condition that there would be no parking on roads.
The prescribed guidelines also made it mandatory for kalyan mandap owners to install CCTV cameras, fire extinguishers and ensure that there was no noise pollution beyond the prescribed decibel.
The HC made licence from CMC mandatory for operating a kalyan mandap. Later, the High Court asked the civic body to formulate guidelines for operating the banquet hall and approved it on November 9, 2016.