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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Dance bar licences won't come easy

Debasish Panigrahi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 19, 2013
First Published: 01:34 IST(19/7/2013) | Last Updated: 01:36 IST(19/7/2013)

Even if dance bars manage to get back their licences, it won't be smooth sailing for the owners.

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If the police have their way, the bar owners will have to adhere to stricter guidelines that are likely to be incorporated in the renewed (performance) licence. For instance, bar owners may now have to cough up Rs. 25,000 a day as fee for a dancing stage instead of the earlier Rs. 10,000.

Sources in the headquarters branch of the Mumbai police, which issues the performance licence to dance bars, said not only the conditions for the licence would be made stringent, but also the enforcement.

The police have already started to consult various other agencies such as the excise department (issues liquor licence, the civic body (issues premises/ shop establishment and eating house permits), and the fire department (issues fire safety NoC) before finalising the conditions to be incorporated in the renewed licence. 

Apart from the rise in stage fee, the police also propose to make the bar owners responsible for the safety of the dancers inside the premises and during their transportation.

Further, barricades would have to be put up around the stage and showering money on dancers would be prohibited.

The police also want that the seating arrangement for the customers be made at a distance from the stage and the customers not be allowed to come onto the stage or touch the dancers.

While smoking is already banned the orchestra bars (former dance bars), provisions for separate smoker's chamber is likely to be made mandatory.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on its part will continue to implement its condition under the shops and establishment act, which prohibits women working in a business establishment beyond 9.30pm.

According to sources, dance bar licences will be issued once the owners surrender their existing orchestra bar licence.

Meanwhile police commissioner Satypal Singh said the SC order would be thoroughly studied before preparing the licences.

"We will revisit and update the conditions as per the needs and present requirements," he said.

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