An unauthorised vermiculture project of the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has ruined the life of a Pimpri hotelier U N Sukheja. His "Gurukripa veg - non veg restaurant' in Chinchwad Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation(MIDC) area, had to be closed within a month of its opening, all because of a vermiculture project that PCMC constructed on the land exactly opposite his hotel. According to official documents, PCMC was supposed to plant trees there. Instead, it constructed the vermiculture pit, where about 4.5 tonnes of hotel waste were treated every day. The foul smell and insects ultimately led to customers avoiding Sukheja's hotel, forcing him to close it. Sukheja had started this hotel on the land (plot number 10) he leased for 99 years from the MIDC in October 1996. He also took a hefty loan of Rs 45 lakh from the Rupee Co-operative Bank in 1999 to construct it. The hotel started functioning on March 8, 2000 and was earning up to Rs 30,000 per day, Sukheja said. "I ran from pillar to post in both MIDC and PCMC offices. In October 2000, the CEO of MIDC released an order for removal of the project. But the local MIDC officers took no action,' he said. Sukheja wrote letters to the Police Commissioner and MIDC, threatening to immolate himself. Meanwhile, loan recovery agents started bothering Sukheja for repayment. He approached Azeem Khan, the then CEO of MIDC, who in a letter dated October 14, 2002, requested the then Co-operation Commissioner Bijay Kumar to postpone the recovery action. Khan admitted that the PCMC's vermiculture project was "unauthorised' and had led to the closure of Sukheja's hotel. By the time the vermiculture project was finally removed in 2004, the bank had sealed Sukheja's hotel. Purushottam Jadhav, regional officer of MIDC, Pune said, "Sukheja still possesses the land and his hotel is mortgaged to the Rupee Bank.'