Locals residing in and around the Asiad Games Village in South Delhi turned up on Wednesday to protest against the re-opening of the Asiad Tower, a wedding venue situated inside the games village, saying a marriage venue so close to their houses made their lives miserable.

The site, which was sealed in 2010 after a Supreme Court order, was recently de-sealed after the apex court judgment ruled in favour of the banquet hall owner at Asiad Tower.

Residents from Gulmohar Park, Panchsheel, Shahpur Jat and Khel Gaon held a protest outside the Asiad Tower, claiming the site was their district park and that it had been illegally commercialised by the Delhi Development Authority.

According to locals, a number of weddings used to take place there when the venue was operational, resulting in immense noise pollution and traffic congestion.

“This wedding venue made our lives miserable. They used to have eight marriages in one night and play loud music till early morning. We would keep calling the police, but there was no action,” said Arpita Khatri, a resident of nearby Siri Fort lane.

Asiad Village Society secretary Krishna Sharma said: “This is a typical case of misuse of a designated district park. The DDA showed utter disregard in handing over possession of a district park for commercial activities.”

While residents claim the site is a park and they should be allowed to use it that way, the DDA has dismissed their claims.

According to Asiad Tower owner Mahesh Kapur, the debate about the legality and his authority to conduct weddings at the site was settled once and for all by the Supreme Court last week. He said nobody was prevented from entering his property and that Jhankar Hotels, as a rule, shut down music by 10 p.m.

According to the Jhankar Hotels website, the Asiad Tower, which has five venues inside, was allotted to it for 30 years by the DDA on its bid of Rs.2.85 crore in 1997.

A Court-appointed panel had on June 17, 2010, ordered the sealing of Jhankar Banquets after it found “gross” violation of the Master Plan for Delhi 2021 in the green area being used by it.

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