16 banquet halls ordered shut in Agra


Agra: Acting on the Allahabad High Court’s direction, the Agra Development Authority has told 16 banquet halls in Vijay Nagar neighbourhood in Uttar Pradesh’s Taj city to down their shutters, forcing many party hosts to look for alternative venues.

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The ADA ordered the halls to down shop Saturday (May 1).

In its fresh notice to the 16 halls, the ADA said: “If the barat ghars (banquet halls) went ahead with bookings, it would be a clear contempt of the court.”

The ADA reminded them of the high court stay on conducting parties. The stay was imposed in connection with a writ petition filed by six residents of the neighbourhood, the oldest planned urban cluster in the Taj city, some 360 km from state capital Lucknow.

The residents have been regularly complaining to police and the pollution control department about inconvenience caused by frequent marriage parties held at these halls.

But no action was taken against the banquet halls. Later, six of the residents took the legal route and filed a public interest litigation in the Allahabad High Court in 2004.

Sanjeev Chaturvedi, one of the complainants, told IANS: “Now, we can hope to live in peace and tranquility which was denied to us for so many years.”

He said the high court order was applicable to the entire state.

The bookings have been cancelled and party hosts are looking for alternative accommodation, said a banquet hall owner.