MCD: Mentally Challenged Department: Coffee Houses in Loos

Only MCD can come up with such convoluted ideas, against the basic culture of Indians.

Eateries in Toilets indeed.

Cafes-cum-toilets dumped?

Abantika Ghosh | TNN

New Delhi: The controversial coffee house-cum-toilet project of MCD has drawn the lieutenant-governor’s ire. In the face of criticism from residents and legislators and allegations of procedural lapses, the office of the LG has asked all the seven prototypes to be reviewed and the one at Defence Colony to be scrapped immediately.

LG Tejendra Khanna — who was flooded with letters and memoranda opposing the project — has asked the civic body to go back to the drawing board on the Defence Colony building as it is the one which has caused the maximum outrage among residents, traders and elected representatives.

MCD commissioner K S Mehra was not available for comment despite repeated attempts till late in the night. A senior MCD official, speaking on condition of anonymity, admitted that the projects were in the process of being reviewed but added that he was ‘‘not aware of any direction from the LG to scrap any of them’’.

MCD HADPLANNED 200 STRUCTURES

Eatery over loo bad idea: Residents

New Delhi: After MCD’s  coffee house-cum-toilet project faced opposition from residents and legislators, sources in the LG’s office said the commissioner was told about the public outcry over the Defence Colony structure and he reportedly said that if people did not want it, there was no point in going ahead with the project. This, however, could not be confirmed.

MCD has plans to construct 200 such structures across the city. In a bid to finalize the contractors, the agency had invited five companies to build seven prototypes in Greater Kailash, Kotla Mubarakpur, Chittaranjan Park, East of Kailash, Defence Colony, ITO, Model Town and Kailash Colony. These companies paid MCD Rs 40 lakh for each structure.

The plan was that once a technical committee had looked at the structures and chosen one, the others would be razed and that one company would be given the task of building and operating all the 200 outlets for 30 years in lieu of a payment of Rs 1,000 crore to MCD. In some of these areas, rentals can be as high as Rs 75,000-1,50,000 per square feet a month.

Residents and traders have described these structures as ‘‘monstrosities’’ constructed in the middle of markets that would only add to congestion. ‘‘There were objections about the concept of eating above a toilet. Soon, there were allegations of financial bungling with the money and the period for which the lease was to be given being too much for too little,’’ said a source.

New Delhi MP Ajay Maken, Kalkaji MLA Subhash Chopra and Jangpura MLA Tarvinder Marwah had joined the chorus.

A senior official in LG secretariat said: ‘‘The LG felt that with local area plans in the offing, it was not in the interest of anybody to plan and execute projects that led to such tough resistance from locals for whom the idea was originally designed. The prototypes will be demolished.’’

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