If the Gurgaon administration will have its way, the pubs and bars in the city would have to down their shutters exactly at the stroke of midnight and cannot operate “two extra hours” — although they had forked out additional money for the same.
Many pub owners in the city have deposited fee for operating two hours extra (till 2 am) when they applied for licence for 2012-13.
The licence renewal process is underway. In this context, the administration has asked the excise department not to permit pubs to operate extra hours.
Already reeling under crisis owing to low footfalls following a series of drunken brawls, the suggestion has rattled Sahara Mall pub owners.
The police were already forcing the pubs at the mall to close shop at 12 midnight.
Every day, the mall authorities close the main entrance to the mall at midnight. They disconnect the electricity supply to the pubs at 11.45 pm to remind them of the midnight deadline.
However, revenue-greedy excise department insists on renewing their licences for extra hours, citing the guidelines of the Haryana Excise Policy.
“We have paid additional fee to the excise department for opening our bars for two hours extra after midnight.
The renewal of licence takes time, but excise rules allow us to operate for two extended hours till then. Police often harass us to show the renewal licence. All the pubs in other malls are operating till 2 am, but we are forced to shut before 12. It is unfair, we are losing our clients,” said Ashok Tanwar, owner of Ignite pub.
Rajesh Narwania, owner of Prison pub at Sahara Mall, said, “We are suffering huge losses of R10 lakhs per month as there are only 20-25 people coming these days.” SHO of the area police station, Jagdish Prasad said, “We have to be strict about the bar deadlines to ensure law and order. These rules are alike for the bars on MG Road.”