Pubs prepare for govt scrutiny after duo’s deaths

Pubs prepare for govt scrutiny after duo’s deaths

Pubs across the city are scrambling to ensure that all safety measures are in place after two people fell to their death from the second floor of a watering hole on Church Street around Friday midnight. 

Pubs across the city are scrambling to ensure that all safety measures are in place after two people fell to their death from the second floor of a watering hole on Church Street around Friday midnight. 

In the central business district, at a prominent pub located on the first floor of a building, the manager on duty, Ravi, specified that he expected the police and the BBMP to inspect them any day and added that his staff were ensuring that all safety measures were in place. 

“We have an open balcony but we have never allowed people to sit on the railings. Though a fall from this height will only break the bones, we don’t want to take any risk,” he said. 

At another bar, the owner, Harsha (name changed), said that as soon as he heard about the deaths at the #BEiR pub, he rushed to ensure that all safety and security measures at his own establishment were proper, in expectation of inspections. 

So far, these raids have not materialised. Seemanth Kumar Singh, Additional Commissioner of Police, (East), said the police had no real plans to begin inspections of bars for safety lapses. “Such inspections will have to be done with the cooperation of corporation (BBMP) officials. We are, however, continuing our drive against bars that play loud music,” he said. 

Harsha said that while the footage of the accident at #Bier appeared to show that the deaths were accidental, the way alcohol was served in Indian bars was, in part, to blame for incidents of this fashion. 

“Like in the west, bartenders can refuse to serve patrons who have already reached their limits but the situation here is complicated by the fact that the relationship between the bartender and patrons is of the master-servant category. Refusal by bartenders to serve often results in fights,” he said, adding that pubs that operate beyond 11.30 pm usually attract troublesome drinkers. 

According to Ravi, such inebriated patrons become combative and often refuse to pay the bill. 

Deepak Batavia, president, Church Street Shop Owners’ Association, said the void created by a lack of stringent government rules regarding safety and security had prompted many shops, restaurants and bars to adopt their own disparate rules. “What happened has served as a warning to all of us that such things can happen again and again if we don’t adopt measures,” he added. 

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