NEW DELHI: The excise department will conduct surprise checks at hotels, bars, clubs, and restaurants, which will start serving liquor from Wednesday, to keep a check on violators of social distancing norms and other instructions stipulated in the SOP issued for reopening.
The order issued on Monday directs assistant commissioners (enforcement) to set up teams to check compliance with the SoP.
In case of any defiance, legal action will be initiated under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act (DMA) and Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the premises will also be sealed. Besides this, the excise license will also be cancelled, said the order issued by Ranjeet Singh, deputy commissioner (excise).
“Strict compliance of the SoP is the foremost condition for the opening of bars for the allowed period. The onus completely is on the licensee to comply with the SoP issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) as well as the SoP dated June 4, 2020... Assistant Commissioner (excise) is directed to deploy teams to check compliance,” said the order.
On Thursday, the Delhi government allowed bars to reopen from September 9 on a trial basis outside containment zones. Outlets have been allowed to serve liquor till September 30.“We haven’t decided the number of teams to be set up to check violations. We have time until Wednesday. We may decide on Tuesday,” said an official of the excise department.
The DDMA prepared the SoP for reopening of such establishments with only 50 per cent of approved seating capacity. Responding to the government’s permission for serving of liquors at bars, restaurants, and clubs in the city, Vikrant Batra, the founder café Delhi Heights, said that good things at times come with certain conditions.
“While at one point we are happy as it’s very encouraging that we are allowed to serve liquor from September 9 but this comes along with fear as this is temporary till September 30 to be reviewed later. While we are happy that with the precautions in place, customers have reinforced their faith in dining out at café Delhi Heights, with drinks we are hoping to enhance customer experience further,” he said.