Dance bar owners will have a tough time in obtaining licences despite the Supreme Court asking the state government to issue licences to the owners.
Police have started the process of issuing licences but the home department wants scrutiny of all the norms. The likely fallout is that no bars would be open for business till the bill regulating the bars is cleared by the state legislature. By suspending four cops, the department has sent a strong message to the police that they shouldn’t adopt soft approach towards the bars while granting licences.
Sources said chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was very upset on learning that the licences were given to four bars without proper scrutiny. The visits by the home department team headed by Dr Vijay Satbir Singh, the principal secretary (home), revealed that the fire-safety and hygiene-related norms were not complied with despite which the licences were issued on the basis of reports by the local police stations.
“At Indiana in Tardeo, the bar is above the kitchen, which is not permitted according to the safety norms. At other bars, too, the fire-safety norms, which are about 30 in numbers, were not fulfilled. Some of them had fitted only a couple of CCTV cameras when all the entry and exit points were supposed to be covered by the cameras. Most of them had inadequate entry/exit points — a safety measure — and also had not complied with the hygienic conditions according to the Shops and Establishment Act,” said a home department official.
According to the home department records, four licences issued were among the 45 applications sent to local police stations by the Mumbai commissionerate. The home department has directed all the commissioners to verify the compliance by senior officers at the headquarters after reports are submitted by the police stations.
The introduction of the bill to regulate the bars in the budget session may be difficult as no meeting has taken place even after three weeks of the session.