The Haryana excise department has allowed bars in the city to run for one more hour after midnight, acceding to their long-standing pleas. However, this permit comes with a hefty fee.
The department on Wednesday gave permission to pub/bar owners to operate till 1am with an additional fee of `5 lakh. The Gurgaon deputy excise and taxation commissioner already issued three licenses till Wednesday evening.
Making a note of increasing number of late-night drunken brawls in the city, the Haryana excise and taxation department had put a ban on serving liquor after midnight at all pubs and bars effective April 1.
Earlier, bars had to pay an additional `5-lakh fee to operate till 2am. Another reason for the ban was a request from the police department.
Many bars that had already paid an extra fee of `5 lakh were not allowed to serve liquor after midnight due to the ban. As many as 24 bars out of 227 were unable to serve liquor till 2am.
The deputy excise and taxation commissioner (Gurgaon), KS Malik, said, “The decision of not allowing a two-hour extension after midnight had come after frequent drunken brawls at city pubs. The Haryana Excise and Taxation commissioner, Anil Malik, had issued a directive regarding this in April.”
Malik said the police department had requested the excise and taxation department not to allow a two-hour extension to pubs and bars which were turning out to be a nuisance and affecting the law and order situation.
Meanwhile, there were mixed reactions from pub/bar owners regarding the one-hour extension given to them. “The crowd gets free after 9pm and needs at least four hours to enjoy. If we pull the shutters down at 1am, we need to take the last order at midnight. The extension is not enough,” said a pub owner on condition of anonymity.
However, Vineet Taing, president, Vatika hospitality said, “While fine dining restaurants will not be affected by the extension, pubs will surely get the crowd back. People who used to commute to Delhi for pubs will certainly take advantage of this additional hour.”
“The one-hour extension is sufficient as most patrons end their parties by 12.30am. However, the license fees should have been decreased as a fee of `5 lakh is already being charged for the earlier extension,” said Rajpal Singh, owner of Asian Bistro.
Pubs get 7 days to install CCTVs
Two months after more than 100 schoolchildren were caught drinking and smoking at a local Gurgaon pub, the city excise department has given a seven-day ultimatum to bar owners for installing CCTV cameras.
The direction was issued after a meeting between the Gurgaon deputy commissioner and the deputy excise and taxation commissioner on Wednesday.