Arun Kumar says he just wants to be a good neighbour.
The owner of the Taaj Restaurant acknowledges there has been some issues with the smell of food coming out of his restaurant but is adamant the issue has been dealt with.
“I feel really sorry that the situation has come along this far,” he says.
Last week, the Nelson Weekly reported on the issues faced by the restaurant’s neighbour, Yogi Unger, who says the fumes from the restaurant make some of his rooms unliveable.
Yogi moved into the neighbourhood more than three years ago, while the Taaj has been there for about a year.
Arun says the restaurant has tried “very hard” to mitigate the smell – even changing the way it cooks its food and installing a new filter.
“We have complied with everything the council has said.”
Nelson City Council says its last audit of the restaurant, 12 months ago, found it had good systems in place.
Arun says there was a problem with the smell “but it wasn’t huge” and cast doubt on Yogi’s accusations by saying there were others in the area that cooked food and the smell may be from that.
“[The smell] could be anyone’s.”
Arun says he just wants a happy neighbourhood.
“He is our neighbour, he is seeking to live in a nice peaceful environment and so are we. At the end of the day we want to be a good neighbour.”
He invited anyone who had an issue with the restaurant to visit to see if the problem could be resolved.
“We want a peaceful and calm neighbourhood. It’s good for us and for you.”
However, Yogi says the issue is not solved and it is just as bad as it has always been. He was still planning on pursuing the matter further.
“Our visitors tell us it’s bad, it’s not just my brain.”