Night life in the city is likely to have an early end from next week with the UT administration set to notify a policy that will mandate the closure of discotheques at 12 midnight, from the current 1am.
UT administrator Kaptan Singh Solanki has cleared the draft policy and the notification is likely within a couple of days.
Under the policy, ‘Controlling of Places of Public Amusement 2016’, discotheques will not be allowed to function beyond 12 midnight and customers will not be allowed to enter without identity cards.
The draft policy adds that liquor can’t be served to those below the age of 25; and the facility should have separate smoking area and adequate parking space as well.
The policy applies to discotheque, pool game, virtual reality games, game machine parlours and bowling alleys.
Interestingly, the development could have business ramifications as discotheques in neighbouring SAS Nagar and Zirakpur remain open till wee hours without any checks.
The document was drawn up after intervention from the Punjab and Haryana high court. On February 24, the Punjab and Haryana high court was told by UT counsel JS Toor that the administrator had cleared the policy and would be notified soon.
Recent cases of lawlessness had raised concerns over safety and there had been a major brawl outside a Sector 8 discotheque in June last year. Two committees will formed to implement the policy.
Owners will have to get CCTVs installed at entrance and other prominent places. They will have to get police verification done of bouncers (male as well as female). Entry of guests would have to be limited.
Even the service and consumption of liquor in other than the specified area would be treated as ‘drinking in public places’. Under the policy, licences would be given for a year.
Home secretary Anurag Agarwal said, “In accordance with the Punjab and Haryana high court directions, we have come up with a policy. It is aimed at curbing untoward incidents at night. We have got the policy approved from UT administrator and the Punjab and high court and will notify it soon.”
Chairman of hotel The Altius - Ten Downing Street MPS Chawla said, “If the timings of discotheques is changed from 1am to 12 midnight, business will be hit. The crowd will shift to the Zirakpur highway where discotheques function till sunrise. The threat to lives of youngsters will increase.”
Highlights of the draft policy
•Display of permission certificate
•Installation of CCTV cameras at entrance and other prominent places
•Deployment of male and female bouncers
•No guests below 25 to be served liquor
•Separate smoking zones
•Mandatory to keep copy of photo identity card of the guest or customer issued by any government authority
•I-cards to be issued to all staff members
•Daily record of sale of tickets and passes
•Display of rate list for tickets and passes at the entrance