It was supposed to open to the public last Wednesday, March 17, but Royalty is still out of bounds. A grand launch party took place on Saturday, March 13, attended by the Rajasthan Royals cricketers and a host of Bollywood celebrities. Actress Shilpa Shetty’s husband, Raj Kundra, and Prashant Gunjalkar are the owners of the nightclub.
The spokeswoman for Royalty says the club’s interiors are still being worked on. In an sms to HT Café she wrote: “The club is still not fully ready ..just givin it d last final touches…hence will b operational frm next weekend! Just sme work needs 2 b finishd, fittings/upholstery etc…it’l b up n running next Friday.”
Meanwhile, more than 1,000 residents living on Waterfield Road and 27th Road in the area are campaigning to see that the nightclub never opens. They are being represented by the Khar Residents Association, H West Ward Citizens Trust, and Advanced Locality Management.
Anandini Thakoor, chairperson of H West Citizens Trust, says she is contemplating filing a PIL in court against not just Royalty but all of the nightclubs in the area, and that includes On Toes, Zenzi, Zaika, and Escobar.She has written to R R Patil, state home minister, asking for the nightclubs to be shifted to another zone since the Waterfield Road are is a residential area with colleges, schools, a girls’ hostel, a convent and a medical centre.
“The residents have had their gates blocked by cars, making it difficult for them to get out of their own homes even during an emergency,” she points out, saying a resident was unable to drive her son who was running a high fever to the doctor last Saturday because the car of a guest at Royalty was parked outside her entrance. Patil has written back saying he is “personally looking into the matter.”
A mall instead
Thakoor suggests that the building should be converted into a mall or showroom instead. “It’s illegal to have a nightclub in a basement that is meant for cars,” she argues. “They shouldn’t be using the fire exit as a main entrance. And even if they control the noise, there are other hazards like drunkards and bouncers cluttering up the road.”
A nun at St Paul’s Convent situated opposite Royalty says that last Saturday, the launch party went on till 3.30am and you could hear the loud music, honking of cars and shouts and laughter of the guests till the wee hours. Before the party began, Manuela Salganha, secretary, ALM, an association for residents on 27th, 28th and 31st Road, called the police complaining about trash being dumped on the pavement. Two days later, she went to see the Deputy Commissioner of Police, K M M Prasanna, to lodge a complaint. She says, “We will continue with our campaign and if necessary, move the High Court.”
The launch party was supposed to wind up at 1.30 am but went on till past 3 am. They got permission for a one-night party but I don’t think they have permission to open yet.
— Manuela Salganha, secretary, ALM