HYDERABAD:Until very recently, night life and pub culture was restricted to a few places in Hyderabad -- primarily to Madhapur and Gachibowli areas. But with the city expanding horizontally, that is not the case anymore. Several pubs, resto-bars and lounges are mushrooming across the city outskirts. But these locations provide little or no transport options for the pub-going youngsters who end up using their own cars to get home.
Some pub managements, that tried to provide transport services for clients, say they had bad experiences which made them stop the practice. "We had tied up with a taxi service as a social initiative to help the city police curb drunken driving. But the initiative didn't go down well for us, as whenever a problem arises between the driver and customer, the complaint is made against the pub and we have had to foot the bill. So we stopped that service," says Ranjith Dodda, owner of By The Bottle.
As a result, most pub-goers find it difficult to get back home. "I stay at Hayathnagar and the return journey from a pub is always a problem as there are no direct buses at that time of the hour to where I live. The only option is a taxi, but their fares are often unfair. So I hitch a ride back home with friends. As not everyone has a car, mostly we go triples on the bike," said Harshal Mehra, a content developer with a digital firm at Ramoji Film City. "Going to Jubilee hills or Banjara hills to party is simply not feasible," he added.
If making it back home after a night at the pub is difficult for those in the city outskirts, then for those living in the heart of the city make high taxi fares a reason to take the wheel after drinking. "There are times when I have taken a ride back home with a friend who is driving drunk. I would prefer a taxi but the rates are unfairly high," said Shubangi Sinha, working with a private bank in Banjara Hills.
Are youngsters carrying fake IDS?cops wonder
Hyderabad: Excise department officials suspect that some city youngsters, below 21 years, might be forging their ID cards to gain entry into pubs and bars.
“Gaining entry into pubs and bars has become difficult for the underage. We suspect that some youngsters are carrying fake ID now. However, it is very tough to crosscheck and verify this suspicion,” said officials.
The sleuths who were part of decoy operations said that the frequency of conducting checks on pubs and bars has increased in the past one-month. The STF members either don uniform or wear plain clothes. Agenda of the operations is not only to check for underage drinking, but consumption of drugs and narcotics too. However, they have not been able to catch a single underage consumer.
The excise department had in 2017 enforced the rule that those visiting pubs must enter their details in a log book. The department had even asked the pub owners to take the Aadhaar details of those visiting the pubs.