Owner reopens sealed gym, complainant demands action

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 24

A resident of Jaspal Nagar, Sultanwind Road, is at the receiving end as an “illegal” gym is functional in his locality. Even the Municipal Cooperation had sealed it last month. He had lodged complaints with the departments concerned in this regard, but to no avail.

The complainant, Sukhwant Singh, says that an illegal gym has been functional in his adjoining house for the last few years. The gym operators play loud music and create a nuisance. Sukhwant filed an RTI to several departments during 2017-18 and found that the gym owner did not have change of land use (CLU) certificate from the competent authority to use the building for commercial purposes in a residential area and the mandatory NOC of the Fire Department. The Health Department of the MC issued him a trade licence and collected the licence fee.

On May 2, 2018, Sukhwant Singh filed a written complaint to the Municipal Corporation Commissioner seeking action against the illegal gym. The MC didn’t respond to it. Then again, he filed a complaint at the mayor’s office on March 8 last year. When the Mayor office didn’t take any action against the gym owner, Sukhwant Singh visited the office and staff of the mayor’s office to inform him that his complaint had been misplaced.

Sukhwant Singh filed another RTI to know the status of his previous complaints and demanded action taking report. When MC did not respond, he filed an application to First Appellate Authority on December 9, 2019. He was still waiting for a reply and now filed an appeal to the State Commission.

Meanwhile, Sukhwant filed a complaint with the health wing of the MC to cancel the trade licence of an illegal gym on January 1, 2020.

Ajay Kanwar, Municipal Health Officer, MC, said, “We have cancelled the trade licence of the gym on February 19, 2020.” During the Covid lockdown, the gym was closed but soon after the Central Government’s advisory, the gym owner opened it on August 5.

Sukhwant Singh met MC Commissioner Komal Mittal and asked her to take action. On her directions, Municipal Town Planning wing of the MC sealed the gym on September 5. But after six days, the gym owner violated the directions of the Commissioner and reportedly broke open the seal installed by MTP on September 11.

Sukhwant Singh again filed a complaint with MC the Commissioner and she assured her to register a case against the gym owner on September 14.

Sandip Rishi, Additional Commissioner, MC, said, “The gym is illegal as the building owner runs it in a residential building. We had sealed it last month. Now, we again got a complaint that the gym owner had broken the seal. We have moved the case to get an FIR registered for breaking the seal. The gym will also be re-sealed soon.”

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