Is the party over? Pubs are leaving Bengaluru

About a 100 have closed down across the city over not being allowed to play music 

Published: 14th July 2018 03:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2018 01:44 PM   |  A+A-

Pubs and liquor outlets in Bengaluru (File | EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  The Karnataka High Court’s direction on pubs and restaurants needing licences to play music has caused closure of about 100 establishments across the city, as per people from the industry.
On July 2, the High Court had ordered bars and pubs constructed after 1977 to get an occupancy certificate (OC) to be allowed to play any form of music, and submit the OCs to the police. Though the HC gave a month’s time to the outlets, several outlets have already shut shop. Some other outlets, such as Downtown and Communiti on Residency Road and Pavilion in Gandhinagar are operating without playing music.

Owners of establishments that do not have OCs are being denied them on the grounds that an OC is supposed to be issued within five years of a structure’s construction, said Shankar Srinivas, owner of a pub. Buildings constructed during or before 1976 have to instead submit a stability certificate, and owners are not able to get those either. Most officials who had issued the certificate when the structure was built have retired, and current officials are refusing to issue them.

Ashok Sadhwani, a member of the Bengaluru Pub Owners’ Association, said during the earlier decades, most building owners did not have OCs as there was no need for one. “Most of the BBMP engineers changed during the intervening period. As for the owners, how can anyone preserve a document that old? So it’s a very complicated issue which has affected business badly,” he said.

Shankar Srinivas questioned the logic of enforcing the rule even at restaurants which played recorded music. “All of a sudden if they ask for an OC for establishments that have operated for many years, how will we get them? And why should OCs be required to play music? Owners of outlets on Residency Road held a meeting, and are contemplating approaching the Court again,” he said.An association of owners of about 40 hotels, pubs and bars located at Gandhinagar, Residency Road, Indiranagar and Koramangala have appealed against the rule in Court.

30: Number of pubs which were issued notices in and around Indiranagar
5: Number of years within which owners of buildings have to take occupancy certificate
2005: Year when Supreme Court issued the initial restriction on playing music
1 month: Time given for pubs to comply with the order from the date of judgement: 1 month
1,356: licences issued to bars and restaurants in Bengaluru Urban district as per the Excise Depart-ment’s website

‘music is too loud’

Objections against loud music in pubs have been voiced for a few years by residents of Indiranagar. Residents have alleged that several pubs are located in residential zones, and that their music levels flout the norms. Sneha Nandihal, a resident of the area, said as of Thursday evening, there was no change in the levels of music being played during late nights.

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  • Chidanand

    Looks like we are living in society which has no ethics
    4 months ago reply

    Pub goer s should note that a place of occupation in a residential building where music is played above decoibwell s definitely affect the privacy of other resident s who have put their money to buy a house or are in rental s paying owners a rent n why those person s tranquility should be disturbed by your pub playing loud music n that tooo
    4 months ago reply
  • Hello World!

    This sucks. This is not what should be happening. We need moar bars. Moar music. More weekends. What is this!
    4 months ago reply
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