Police mute 30 pubs in Indiranagar

After months of fighting over the increasing commercialisation and resulting noise pollution in their neighbourhood, residents of Indiranagar were vindicated as 30 pubs and restaurants went mute on Friday after being served notices by the police commissioner to stop playing music or hosting bands for live performances. The action is the culmination of a long legal battle by local residents’ welfare association.

The notices, issued by Commission T. Suneel Kumar, directed the establishments to stop performances by live bands and playing music from Friday in the light of a January 2018 Supreme Court order.

“Any public space needs to have a permit from the city police commissioner to play music as per Licensing and Controlling of Places of Public Entertainment (Bangalore City) Order 2005, which these establishments do not have, and hence were asked to stop music,” Mr. Suneel Kumar said. However, he was quick to add that he would issue permits as per a 2005 order, if the pubs applied for the same with adequate documentation.

But that is unlikely to happen. Stringent eligibility criteria to get a permit has disqualified most of these pubs, say sources in the civic body. Most of the pubs, they say, are yet to approach the city police seeking permits.

As per the Licensing and Controlling of Places of Public Entertainment (Bangalore City) Order 2005, owners need to submit the BBMP’s plan sanction for the building, Occupancy Certificate (OC), No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Fire and Emergency Services and Electrical Inspectorate for a permit.

Most of the pubs don’t have any of these documents, allege residents. Senior BBMP officials pointed out that a majority of the establishments are housed in buildings on residential plots, and that there were serious building bye-law violations because of which OCs had not been issued.

Following an accidental fire in a rooftop pub in Mumbai that resulted in the death of 14 persons in December 2017, Fire and Emergency Services took up a special drive in Indiranagar leading in the closure of several rooftop pubs.

However, senior fire officials said the drive did not look at pubs housed inside buildings, and claimed that many do not have an NOC or adhere to fire safety norms.

“This action by the police has proved how most of these pubs are being operated in violation of rules and the BBMP has emerged as the biggest culprit. Officials are culpable for these establishments coming up in violation of the law, and for these pubs running for so many years,” said Raj Kumar Pillai, president, Indiranagar II Stage RWA, who earlier led a legal battle against a pub leading to its closure.

I have directed pubs to stop playing music. Let them apply for a permit as per rules prescribed in Licensing and Controlling of Places of Public Entertainment (Bangalore City) Order, 2005. We will issue permits and they can re-start playing music.”

T. Suneel Kumar,

Police Commissioner

Most of them violate norms, are housed in buildings with no OC and fire safety clearances. Action by the police commissioner and the absence of a queue of pub-owners seeking permits have vindicated our claims

Raj Kumar Pillai,

president, Indiranagar II Stage RWA

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