BBMP closes cafe, bigwigs turn up the heat – The New Indian Express


Express press service

BENGALURU: There was a lot of foam and calls for BBMP babus to wake up and smell the coffee, as they sealed off, albeit briefly, a popular niche cafe in upscale Indiranagar for the management of garbage and other compliance issues.

Bengaluru’s big business bosses have pulled out all the guns in support of Araku Cafe, which has been locked down by health officials and BBMP marshals. Justifying the action, a BBMP health official, who was part of the inspection, said: ‘When we did rounds around 10.30am on Saturday, we found many breaches.

The cafe used prohibited plastic, had trash thrown in plastic bags and their business license did not have permission to use the high voltage electricity that was being used. We have sealed the coffee in accordance with BBMP solid waste management rules and the Disaster Management Act. Notice was also served.

But as the day progressed, the cafe opened its doors to guests. Although the cafe owners declined to comment, their spokesperson told TNIE, “It was a 15-minute misunderstanding, which has now been resolved.”

Report requested from staff, says BBMP chief

Immediately after the BBMP action, Mohandas Pai, President of Manipal Global Education, took to Twitter and said, “BBMP health inspector Srinivas threatened Araku Indiranagar cafe, which is a CSR cafe, run to help farmers despite all licenses, shut down, asked them to come to his office!Please help me (sic).

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, president of Biocon, also lent his support, tweeting, “This is overregulation. A big attraction that is being shut down for power in the hands of petty officials? Please help me (sic).

Another industrialist, on condition of anonymity, said: “No cafe or business unit is closed for a simple waste management problem. In fact, some politicians and BBMP staff went to the cafe and wanted free coffee. When they were refused, they used their power and sent the health inspector and the marshals to seal the place.

Tweeting that everything was fine, BJP leader Anil Shetty said, “I’m at Araku cafe now. I spoke to Inspector Srinivas. There was a misunderstanding. Everything is fine now. Enjoying my meal here (sic).” BBMP Health Director, East Area Dr Siddapaji said: ‘I inspected the place and found waste management issues. I asked the health team for an explanation.

A warning was given to Araku’s management. BBMP chief commissioner Gaurav Gupta said he was not fully aware of the problem. “There could be compliance issues for which notice has been given. I have requested a detailed report from staff members,” he added.

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