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'Bengaluru is losing its charm due to stringent rules'
Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru
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August 13, 2008 20:59 IST

The battle for a nightlife in Bengaluru [Images] continues. While the government is firm on its decision to put an end to nightlife by 11.30 pm, the Association of Bars, Restaurants, Pubs, and Hotels feel that the entertainment industry in the city has many verticals in the form of pubs, bars, hotels, discotheques, and dance bars.

The association feels that all these segments cannot be governed by one common rule.

The police commissioner had recently issued a notification imposing restrictions relating to timings for bars, pubs, and discotheques. A restriction on live bands was also imposed.

Ashish Kothare, president of the association, spoke with regarding the notification and on what difference such a notification will make to the IT capital of India:

First and foremost let me tell you that we are not against the law. Our only request is that the authorities concerned should make a law which suits the business of each segment. There are several segments in the entertainment industry which are governed by their own rules. For example cinema has its own rules.

Recently a rave party was busted in the outskirts of Bengaluru. Tell me would this have happened if pubs and discotheques were operating in the city. Which bar or pub owner would have risked his licence and allowed a rave party to take place in his premises. The use of drugs in pubs and bars is out of the question as the onus is on the owner and none of us are willing to risk it.

The commissioner of police has also directed the respective police stations to ensure that loud music is not played. What does this mean? Loud for me may not be loud for you. I feel that the commissioner should have specified the decibel at which the music ought to have been played.

One thing that I notice is that the IT city is losing its charm due to such stringent rules. Once I overheard a youngster telling his friend outside a pub that he wanted to change his job. However, he added that he would first decide on the city and then look for a job. He also said that there is nothing left in Bengalurue any longer and hence, he would chose some other city.

Is this what we want? Youngsters are slowly making a beeline for other cities.

Those persons working late in BPOs and other sectors need some entertainment. What do they do and where do they go?

All of us run on the base module of liquor. Some of the pubs and bars have become innovative and have introduced value added services such as karaoke and dancing. If rules are stringent, then such value added services will be stopped as a result of which business suffers.

Then the trimming begins and this results in retrenchment. Who is responsible for those persons and their families who lose their jobs as a result of retrenchment?

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