Tipplers in the country's IT capital can now enjoy extended nightlife on weekends with the state government allowing bar and restaurants to function till 1 am on the two days.
The present 11 pm closure deadline would be extended till 1 am for bar and restaurants on Fridays and Saturdays while the revised timing would be applicable to eateries on all days in the city.
Announcing this decision, Home Minister K J George said though there had been demands for extending the deadline for bar and restaurants on all days, the government had decided to apply it only during the weekend on a pilot basis.
The rule would be reviewed after three months. "There was a demand to open bars and restaurants till 1 am on all days, but to begin with we are allowing it only on Fridays and Saturdays on a pilot basis," he said.
George said there were both demand and opposition to the proposal, but the decision to extend the deadline was taken after consulting stakeholders like police, tourism and excise departments.
He said many people work beyond the deadline and were facing inconvenience because the restaurants were closed early.
"It is a cosmopolitan city and people from all over the country reside here. They lead busy lives and it is important to provide them with places of entertainment – restaurants especially. As long as law and order is respected, it should be introduced," he said.
The 11 pm deadline on the nightlife introduced by the previous BJP Government had come in for criticism from various quarters.