Here is the decoding of why notices were sent to 107 access points in the city
With 107 city hotspots served for violating their licenses playing music and having dance floors, the focus is once again on the nightlife of Bengaluru. Meanwhile the owners of these places and the party goers who frequent these spaces are crying, Bangalore Times caught the additional Police Commissioner of Bengaluru, Crime, Sandeep Patil , the man who is carrying out these actions, to understand what exactly these spaces have violated and how problems can be solved. Excerpts ...
There has been a scandal surrounding the fact that up to 107 critical points have received police notices. Could you explain what caused the same?
Licensing and Controlling of Places of Public Entertainment (Bengaluru City) Order, 2005, empowers the Bengaluru city police commissioner to give licenses to any of the pubs and restaurants to carry out a business related to public entertainment. When we say entertainment, it means having any form of live music , DJ music or even a discotheque. Over the years, people have been issued licenses for the same based on their applications. When the restaurant owners challenged this after they faced issues from residents around the area of their business through their petition earlier this year, the Supreme Court not only upheld the process, but also pointed out that it is the responsibility of the police to ensure there is no noise pollution. We were instructed to take strict action against any violation . The rule is very simple. When restaurant or pub owners acquire an excise license for the venue, they also want to employ a DJ or organise live music sessions. However, there are permissions they need to have to extend their services in this way. It is a very easy procedure, which includes a list of conditions that need to be met. The details can be procured from the DCP of that jurisdiction.
What exactly didn't these 107 restaurants and pubs have?
Each of these 107 spaces has not fulfilled some of the conditions or has violated some over the years. Your licenses have been rejected due to a delay on your part. They are free to fix the period and request a license again.
Members of the restaurant association have stated that it is difficult to obtain some of the documents mentioned in the list. An Occupancy Certificate, for example, may not be accessible to those who have rented a place.
If a person owns a place, but has another person operating an access point instead, the doors to a large number of illegalities are automatically opened. This is one of the reasons why we need these rules. If the owner of a restaurant or pub cannot have a basic document such as an occupancy certificate, how can the rules be relaxed for them? The police department that is issuing licenses is also responsible when something goes wrong in these spaces. For example, last year, when there was a fire in a pub in Mumbai. What if such an incident took place in Bangalore? It is not only the owners of the establishments that question security, but also the police department that provides the space with the license in the first place. When we put these rules into practice, it is taking into account the safety of the public.
People tend to perceive the police as a threat to the city's nightlife. The police have no problems with the people who run their business, as long as they conform to the established rules. Public safety and the reduction of public inconveniences are a priority. The owners of these establishments also have a duty to comply as well. The problems in Indiranagar went up to such an extent that the residents were forced to step in for any action to be taken. We are looking into it, not just at Indiranagar, but into the entire city. If there are grievances regarding the rules, establishment owners can always take it up legally. When there are rules being flouted, government offices will also need to do the same.
According to the verdict issued recently by the Supreme Court, the police force has been asked to guarantee security in the city and its nightlife.
The key points highlighted are:
* The responsibility lies with the Bengaluru Police Commissioner to ensure that noise is not caused to residents in nearby areas
* The police should avoid any adverse incident caused by a delay in security measures at authorized facilities.