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Delhi New Year bashes steal city's thunder

Once known as a party hub, Gurgaon seems to be slowly losing out to Delhi.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2011 00:49 IST
Leena Dhankhar

Once known as a party hub, Gurgaon seems to be slowly losing out to Delhi.

Hotels in the Millennium City are seeing a slump in bookings during the new year festivities as compared to last year due to a negative sentiment prevailing after the city witnessed frequent drunken brawls.

Several malls where bars and discotheques are located have also recorded a drop in footfall as they are viewed as trouble spots and revellers prefer other 'safer' destinations in neighbouring Delhi.

Another reason for low bookings could be bigger bashes in Delhi where hotels have called celebrities and international DJs.

Major showdowns this year such as the Metallica rock concert fiasco, forced shutdown of the Sahara Mall by villagers after bar bouncers thrashed local youths and repeated incidents of brawls has earned Gurgaon a bad name.

Rahil Bindra, owner of restro bar Earth Lounge, said, "This year the bookings are very low as compared to last time. This is also because there is no major event planned and no celebrities are visiting Gurgaon. This time, party hoppers are looking forward to Delhi bashes in malls in Saket, Vasant Kunj, Greater Kailash and Friends Colony."

An official from the excise and taxation department said, "The trend of having personal parties with their friends at home is picking up rather than celebrating in a pub.

The demand for one-day permit to organise such parties that costs Rs 1,500 has seen a drastic rise this year," he said.

Special drives launched by police to check drunken driving is also a dampener. Teams are strategically deputed outside pubs and bars to catch drunken drivers on December 31.

Mritunjay Tiwari, manager of Vapours, said, "No one wants to be harassed after enjoying a party. So, strict checking by police is keeping people away."

Rinku Yadav, director of Club 18, said, "This year is not very good in terms of business for pubs due to many reasons but we were expecting it to pick up by end of the year but that has not happened yet."

Harsh Godara, a Delhi resident, said, "There was a time when we used to go to bars in Gurgaon thinking that being located in malls, they are safer. But the Sahara Mall brawl scared me and I feel it is not worth spending so much money yet feeling insecure. The bars in Delhi are safer."