Bangalore Finally Gets a Life, Now You Can Dine Up to 1 Am - The New Indian Express

Bangalore Finally Gets a Life, Now You Can Dine Up to 1 Am

Published: 02nd March 2014 08:16 AM

Last Updated: 02nd March 2014 08:23 AM

After years of dithering, the government has decided to allow restaurants and coffee shops in Bangalore to remain open till 1 am. Pubs and bars will be permitted to remain open till 1 am on Fridays and Saturdays. They now close at 11.30 pm.

An official order to this effect will be out in two to three days, Home Minister K J George said on Saturday.

“The new rule will be in force for three months, after which the government will take stock of the situation. We may revoke this decision if it impacts law and order or if bars and restaurants flout rules,” he told reporters. George, however, said the closing timing for liquor stores, 10.30 pm, would remain unchanged.

The government extended the deadline in line with the recommendations made by a committee comprising Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee, City Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar and Additional Police Commissioner Kamal Pant, he said.

The government plans to deploy extra policemen at night to ensure the safety of citizens. About 1,000 home guards will be appointed to assist the police, George announced, adding that more home guards would be roped in if the need arose.

“We are considering purchase of new vehicles for `5 crore,” he added. Asked whether the government had decided to extend the deadline to woo the youth who constitute about 23 per cent of voters in Bangalore, George said there was no connection between the elections and the extension.

“The government has not succumbed to any pressure... what we are doing is only on an experimental basis,” he said.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had discussed the deadline with representatives of the trade and business communities before extending the deadline, George said and reminded reporters that a similar (1 am) deadline was in force in Mumbai and Chennai.

Besides, IT and BT sector employees had been seeking a longer nightlife during the weekends, George said.

“Responding to their demand, we have decided to allow all pubs, bars and restaurants to remain open till 1 am on Fridays and Saturdays,” he said.

Further defending the decision, he also said no citizen should sleep on an empty stomach because of the deadline. People coming into Bangalore from other cities now find it difficult to find food as restaurants down shutters by 11.30 pm.

On allowing women bartenders, he said the government had stopped issuing licences as some hotels had flouted norms on their safety. “However, almost all bars and restaurants in Bangalore have installed CCTVs. We will take a re-look at the issue,” he said. Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar and Additional Police Commissioner Kamal Pant, at an event in Bangalore recently, had opposed the idea of extending the deadline till 1 am on the grounds that it would adversely impact law and order. George’s announcement suggests they have reviewed their stand.

 

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