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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Citizens to sniff out unlicensed bars in suburbs

Reetika Subramanian, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 29, 2013
First Published: 02:38 IST(29/1/2013) | Last Updated: 02:41 IST(29/1/2013)

Armed with a list of licensed bars, citizens from the western suburbs are planning to conduct an audit to weed out bars serving alcohol without licences and ensure they are shut down.

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The list of licensed bars has been uploaded online (see box) for anyone who wants to do the same in their area.

A response to a Right to Information (RTI) query revealed the number of licensed bars in the city (2,311).

The western suburbs including Khar, Bandra and Santacruz have the maximum number of licensed bars — a total of 359 outlets spread across 32.83 square kilometres. This works out to nearly 11 pubs per sq km from Bandra to Santacruz.

Activists claim there are many more unlicensed bars operating in the city and  creating chaos in residential localities.

“The list obtained under the RTI has up-to-date information on the names and locations of licensed bars and pubs. Citizens’ groups and locals from different areas in the city can download the list and compare the situation on the ground,” said activist Aftab Siddiqui, who filed the RTI and will audit bars and pubs in Khar.

Activist Heena Shroff, too, has stepped up to survey the corners of Juhu and Vile Parle and spot unlicensed bars serving alcohol. “We are disturbed till the wee hours of the morning regularly. With this list in our hands, we hope to identify unlicensed outlets and ensure that action is initiated,” said Shroff.

Kalina, too, is ready to act. “We will segregate the work based on the areas we live in. In case we spot a bar that does not feature on the list, we will click a photograph,” said Cynthia Fernandes, a Kalina resident who will survey the streets of Kalina and Vakola over the next few days with her neighbours.  “We will then organise a meeting to discuss and compile our findings before submitting it to the authorities.”

HT had reported about the response to the RTI query revealing that most bars in the city were located between Bandra and Santacruz on Monday.


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