Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cheers! Pubs can remain open till 1 am

Cheers! Pubs can remain open till 1 am
Home Dept OK; Over To Excise Dept

Bangalore: One more hurdle for a longer nightlife in Bangalore has been cleared. The home department has given the green signal for the proposal to extend the deadline for pubs from the existing 11.30 pm to 1 am.
Now, the ball is in the court of the excise department, which is the authority to effect the change by an order.
Last year, citing floating and foreigners’ population, the tourism department had submitted a memorandum to the government urging it to extend the deadline. But the short-staffed city police had then opposed the move fearing probable law and order problems.
Now, finally, the home department has given its consent, but at the same time asked the government for more staff. “We have no objection to extending the deadline. We have communicated our willingness,’’ said state home secretary Vatsala Watsa.
Shortage of employees
“The city police are severely short-staffed. the proposal is implemented,
then the police have to work in three shifts.
So, we need more staff. However, if it is implemented immediately, then we will adjust with the existing staff for the time being,’’ said Vatsala Watsa.
“The excise commissioner can extend the deadline by issuing a notification. As the issue is sensitive in nature, the excise department will seek governor’s advice and consent on the issue,’’ said an officer.
Once the pubs get the green signal to remain open till 1 pm, the next in line waiting for an extension in working hours are shops and malls.
A move had been initiated by the JD(S)-BJP government to keep shops open till 11 pm, but the idea was not pursued.
The proposal to keep the malls and shops open was made on grounds that many office-goers would welcome the idea as the timings suited them.
Bands bring in eunuchs
The live bands have decided to go strictly by the rulebook. Fighting desperately for their cause, the Live Bands Association has decided to rope in eunuchs and send them to discos running in the city. The logic: “If there is a ban on women dancing in bars, we will make eunuchs dance as there is no ban on them,’’ says president of the association Sanjay Kochhor. | P3
State not to relax rules
More bad news for live bands. The state administration does not want to budge from its strict stand against allowing live bands as the issue is being politicised. It has realised that any move to relax the rules will lead to a controversy. As the state is under President’s rule, the administration does not want to risk it. | P3


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