There is a pub at every corner from Bandra to Santacruz, reveals a response to a Right To Information (RTI) application.
There are about 11 pubs or bars that serve liquor in every one square kilometre of the western suburbs — the most in the city — according to data given by the state excise department.
In all, 2,311 bars in the city are licensed to serve foreign liquor, of which 359 are located in the 32.83 sq km-area of Bandra, Khar and Santacruz.
“Most residential areas in the western suburbs are dotted with bars and pubs, which questions the overall safety of the area,” said activist Aftab Siddiqui, who filed the RTI. “Entertainment zones ought to be set up in the city for places that serve liquor.”
In another RTI filed by Siddiqui to identify the number of establishments with liquor licences, which have sought performance licenses (a licence to host events where liquor is served), from the Mumbai Police, it was again revealed the western suburbs were on top — 58 bars followed by south Mumbai (49).
“The RTI has revealed the exact number of licensed establishments in the city, but, we fear, that the number of unlicensed bars and pubs are much higher,” said activist Manuela Saldanha. “There is a need to initiate immediate action on unlicensed establishments, keeping in mind the overall safety of the area.”
While activists are worried by the bars, youngsters living in the suburbs look at it as an advantage. "Having the most number of bars and pubs in an area doesn't mean a law and order situation. Formerly, we had to travel to south Mumbai to have a good evening. Now, with pubs in our own vicinity, it is more convenient and safe," said Malita D'souza, 24, a Khar resident.