Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Party may not go on till 1 am

Party may not go on till 1 am

New Year revellers will have to wrap up by 12.30 am, at least half an hour before the catering joints have to close

Soumya Menon. Bangalore

This New Year's Eve, don't be offended if the management of the catering establishment you are partying in asks you to wrap up 30 minutes before the deadline. This is because Karnataka Excise officials have strictly instructed pubs, bars and restaurants serving liquor to down shutters by 1 am, which means that all the customers would be required to stop placing orders at least by 12.30 am.
One week ago, the Bangalore city police commissioner had issued an order extending the deadline till 1 am. Though catering establishments, which had to apply for an extra licence for the purpose, tried to get the deadline extended till 2am, the Karnataka Excise Department did not comply with their wish. Furthermore, they made the establishments ink an agreement stating that their doors will not be open beyond the time stipulated by the city police.
Ashish Kothare, president of the Hotels and Restaurants, Pubs and Bars Association, said it was a pity that they were refused permission for the extension of the deadline till 2 am.
"We already have a licence for the earlier deadline of 11.30 pm, but we have to get an extra licence and pay for just an hour's extension. As it stands now, the deadline extension is only till 1am, so customers will have to start moving out from 12.30 am itself," he said.
Though Kothare said that "this is the case every year," he expressed happiness that the Excise department had at least accepted the deadline set by the city police. "We do not have a choice in the matter," Kothare added.
However, the city police seem to be relaxing their lathi for the New Year's Eve celebrations. Additional commissioner of police (law and order) MR Pujar declared that they will not play party-pooper at the festivities


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