Angry residents want action against illegal hookah bar

Angry residents want action against illegal hookah bar

The hookah bar in HSR Layout, Sector 2

A hookah bar doing business in HSR Layout Sector 2 has left the residents fuming over the high-decibel noise in the night and during the weekends.

The bar also reportedly flouted rules under the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, (building by-laws) and Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2013, (selling tobacco-based products).

"The noise is so high that it is as if the party is happening inside our living spaces," said Niranjan K, who resides close to the bar. "The elderly folks find it harder to sleep. The noise is particularly severe during sporting events like the (recent) IPL tournament and FIFA World Cup."

Residents also found that the bar has violated the BBMP's building bylaws. "It is built like a temporary structure without concrete enclosures," Niranjan said, pointing out that the civic body does not give a building plan approval for such structures.

Bar owner Zabi Ahmed, for his part, refuted allegations that it has violated building and zonal norms. "As for the noise, we run a commercial establishment and the noise levels are within the limits," he said.

Meanwhile, the residents allege that the bar has furnished misleading information about its actual size. "They claim to operate in a 1,000 sq ft area, but they occupy 2,400 sq ft, including both the ground and first floors," revealed Niranjan. He also added that the smoke from the bar drifts into his residence as the bar does not have a proper chimney.

Despite complaints to the BBMP officials and the police, no action has been taken against the bar. "The area's health inspector was suspended recently and a new official will take charge soon. We'll then inspect the place and take action, if there are violations," Bommanahalli Zone joint commissioner Veerabhadraswamy said.

Members of the HSR Layout Sector 2 Residents Welfare Association also claim that the bar did not take a no-objection certificate from the locals before starting out.