Serving food at Ramlila, Durga Puja stalls to get tougher with DDA order

The catering at fadaers during the festive season could be negatively affected as the Delhi Development Authority said no cooking and dish washing will be allowed in the outdoor stalls unless an ETP is installed on the grounds there.

Quoting the Delhi Pollution Control Commission (DPCC) directive, the land-owning agency said it is empowered to install ETP while maintaining any job in open spaces like Ramlila and Durga Puja that involves cooking food and effluent disposal. From violating this trend, it has directed NGT to impose a penalty of not less than Rs 5 lakh per day which can go up to Rs 50 lakh per day,” the agency said.

Meanwhile, the BJP opposed the move and demanded relaxation. In a letter to the NGT and DPCC, party spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor asked for a review of the decision. “Milas with food stalls have traditionally been a part of the Ramlila and Durga Puja celebrations. These are the occasions when people come with their families and friends and these festivities cannot be assumed without food stalls.”

Kapoor said that expecting the Ramila or Durga Puja committees to set up sewage plants on the grounds is not practical. “Instead, government agencies that present grounds against rent should set up sewage stations and can charge rent from places of employment such as wedding sponsors and banquet holders,” he said.

The DDA also said that the agency’s open spaces for religious recreational functions are available for reservation at no charge, subject to a security deposit ranging from Rs 24 per square meter (for reservations up to 15 days) to Rs 60 per square metre (for reservations over 30 days). It is also fully refundable and there is no boost for booking fees.

“If the applicant violates the DPCC directives, a fine of Rs 5,00,000 will be imposed. It is fully refundable and will only be forfeited if the DPCC order is violated,” said an official from the DDA.

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