Tinsukia: The district administration on Saturday demolished a restaurant, which it said was being run on government land, on the outskirts of Assam’s Tinsukia town along National Highway 37.
Apu’s Restaurant came into limelight after CCTV footage emerged in few news channels showing government official allegedly drinking liquor at the restaurant. This was a day after a drive against illegal liquor took the officials to raid the place for selling liquor without a bar licence.
The district administration was quick to rubbish the news report, saying it was a “planned” raid and the owner of the restaurant tried to give it a different twist.
Thirteen other illegal constructions that were detected in the vicinity of The Apu’s restaurant were standing in line, waiting for their turn for demolition, as the bulldozer made its way ahead.
Tinsukia Deputy commissioner Narsing Pawar said, “Today’s demolition drive will serve as a deterrent message for those indulging in illegal acts. This is a continuous process and we will not restrain ourselves from using bulldozer in times to come.”
“Despite indulging in a host of illegal acts, Appu’s restaurant management tried to misrepresent facts and bring a bad name to the administration,” Pawar said.
“I ordered the demolition as per Section 18(2) of the Assam Land and Revenue Regulation, 1886, immediately after the report of circle officer indicted the owner for irregularities related to land,” he added.
The deputy commissioner also said, “I appeal the citizens to share information related to illegal activities happening in their locality on WhatsApp.”
Responding to charges, Pawar said, I shall direct all the departments to remain vigil and to take suo-moto action against irregularities happening under their domain.
“The district administration has adopted zero-tolerance policy against illegal activities in the district for which five teams have been formed,” he added.
EastMojo asked how come the restaurant was running on government land for many months without a food licence from the department concerned.
“As the area falls under Gaon panchayat, we are awaiting for a report related to building permission. If there was no permission, a separate case will be lodged against the owner of the restaurant,” DC Pawar replied.
The details of other establishment bulldozed is awaited. Attempts to speak to circle officer Chinmoy Pathak turned futile.
On Sunday, the Tinsukia district administration had sealed The Apu’s restaurant, even as it continued its drive against illicit liquor.
However, a big question that remains to be answered is how could such large-scale irregularities and illegal acts be committed without the knowledge of the department concerned.
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