Prominent hangout Futala lake now without food joints

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Oct 2018 09:58:07


Special Correspondent,

NIT team demolishes shops and kiosks after High Court rejects shop-owners’ plea for stay on action

AS THE snarling sound of JCB machines and solid thwacks of iron brought down 20 shops and 85 shutters along side the Futala lake on Thursday afternoon, one of the most buzzing places of Nagpur wore a graveyard-like silence. The hotspot for youths and families will now be without the food joints that catered to the crowd as favourite hangouts.
Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) demolished the kiosks, mostly selling pizza, ice cream and other food varieties near Futala lake after Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court rejected plea of the shop owners to grant stay on demolition.

NIT will now install a musical fountain at Futala lake while Maha Metro will construct a tunnel and viewers gallery on the land of Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeth (PDKV). Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has sanctioned Rs 200 crore for the tunnel and viewers gallery from Central Road Funds (CRF).

As per NIT officials, contract of the shops was given to Sell Ads and the company had sub-let the kiosks for a period of six years from 2010 to 2016. NIT had refused to renew the lease as they were not paying any rent to the Trust. The dispute between NIT and shopkeeper saw a long legal battle. With every court rejecting the shopkeepers’ plea, NIT pressed three JCBs to demolish the shops on Thursday.
The shopkeepers made a last-ditch effort to bring a stay on demolition on Thursday too but to no avail. They were given a time frame to remove their belongings from the shops before the demolition begun in afternoon.

Hundreds of youths, nearby residents gathered at the lake to see the kiosks brought to ground by the JCB machines. Their reactions varied from surprise to distress.
“Other cities have so many places to enjoy but our Orange City had only this spot to hang out with friends. Now, we don’t have any place to enjoy evenings,” reacted Amay Sharma, a youth from Ambazari Layout, who was regular visitor to Futala Lake.

For the vendors doing brisk business near the lake, it was a question of daily livelihood. It provided direct and indirect employment to around 200 to 300 people daily. Many were solely dependent on business from the visitors to Futala. One such aggrieved, who earned daily around Rs 300 to 500, is now in a dilemma. “This earning was enough for me to fulfil the need of my family. I don’t expect large crowd at the lake from tomorrow. No I will have to search a new place for business,” he summed up the feeling.

The NIT team comprised Pramod Dhankar, Executive Engineer, Pankaj Ambhorkar, Divisional Officer, Vivek Dafre, Assistant Engineer, Manohar Patil, Demolition Officer, Satish Junghare, Kurjekar, Ashok Dudhpachare, Abhay Wasnik, Nilesh Tirpude and Ajay Jambhulkar.

No more in service
Pesto Snacks, Cutting Tea, Spice of Hyderabadi, Dinshaw’s Ice Cream, Lake Side Grill, Om Associates, Apple Kizin, Gayatri Food, Crackers, Santosh Pakodewala, Shakeel Enterprises, Cafe, Cafe Vila, Kapoor Dabha, Pannio, Kathi Role, Goli Wada Pao, Babbu’s Restaurant, Fast Love Restaurant, Tost, and Dominos.