That the state government’s decision to extend nightlife in the city from 11 pm to 1 am just ahead of the elections is a political gimmick is not lost on many Bangaloreans. While it is a welcome move, why a deadline at all, and why only two days a week for pubs and bars, some ask.
“This seems very artificial to me. For instance, why 1 am and not 2 am? The point is, instead of a deadline like that, there should just be a set of guidelines: ensure there is no noise in the neighbourhood, protect safety of women workers, no illegal activity inside such places, etc. And let any business that wants to run all night do so,” said Pranav Jha, a techie residing in Whitefield. As long as customers are willing, why should any business be expected to close, he asks.
“The idea of the government telling us that we should stop drinking or eating after a certain time at night is intrusive. Now they sound like they are doing us favours by extending the deadline twice a week till 1 am. The oft heard excuse is that there are not enough cops in the city, but we have been hearing this for years now. Why hasn’t the department kept up with the growth in the city and its population? This is an election gimmick, nothing else,” notes Regin T C, a teacher.
Others, those in charge of ensuring safety in the city, are a little more worried.
Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar, who had earlier expressed concern over the lack of adequate policemen in the city, said, “This is on an experimental basis. Let us see if we can manage this. The government has also sanctioned Rs 5 crore to purchase vehicles for patrolling and about 2,500 Home Guards for maintaining law and order in the city. With `5 crore, we can purchase at least 45- 50 patrolling vehicles. We will see how this goes,” he said.