For the hotel might not have a licence to allow people to dance. It’s not that people don’t want to dance. Rather, they’re not allowed to. Unless the establishment has a discotheque licence, dancing is illegal.
Top officers in the City point out that hotels, that have a discotheque licence, don’t shut at the stipulated time and those that don’t have the licence allow dancing, which is illegal. The cops say that they are forced to conduct surprise inspections in hotels across the City just to make sure they don’t violate the rules.
In addition to 12 hotels that have discotheque licences, the cops have issued licences for two more hotels. The hotels which have discotheque licences are: Vivanta Whitefield by Taj Hotel; Taj Residency; The Gateway Hotel; The Lalit Ashok; Akanksha Enterprises on K H Road; The Chancery Pavilion; Royal Orchid Central in Manipal Centre; Hotel Royal Orchid on Old Airport Road; Ateena Leela Palace; Blue Waves; The Royal Gardenia; and The Zuri Whitefield.
Fusion Lounge and MPS Food Products are the two new additions. The Licensing and Controlling of Places of Public Entertainment (Bangalore City) Order, 2005 states that a ‘discotheque’ is a facility provided at a place of public entertainment to customers or patrons for singing or dancing of whatever form or both.
The order also states that no person shall open or maintain a place of public entertainment, which has a live band, cabaret or a discotheque without obtaining a licence under the provisions of this Order from the Licensing Authority.
Additional Commissioner of Police T Suneel Kumar says with more hotels applying for discotheque licence, the security and patrolling within the City will have to be stepped up. “But one must remember that it is only the rich segment that goes to discotheques regularly. People are trying hard to bring back the culture of drink, dine and dance. All that we would like people to do is not to drink and drive. That would help prevent a lot of crimes,” he observes. He says that all hotels must close at 11.30 pm and adhere to the rules. “If the hotels don’t close by the deadline we will be forced to shut them down. And the possibility of cancellation of licence is inevitable,” he adds.
The hotels claim that they shut shop by 11.30 pm but they also add in the same breath that sometimes people start coming in only after 11 pm. The spokesperson of a posh hotel in the City says, “It’s hard to close at 11.30 pm because we still have customers who stay on. I hope the authorities would extend the deadline. Nightlife is a must in this City.”
The young in the City are excited about more discotheques but wonder how it would help if the deadline for nightlife is not extended. Harsh Chauhan, a student of Jain College, points out that the Mumbai nightlife is on till 3 am. “Here the hotels shut by 11.30 pm and there’s nothing open for those who party late. This is precisely why a lot of people choose to have house parties,” says Harsh. Sharvari, another student points out, “Even if one wants to dine and dance, most hotels managements come and stop you immediately. It’s sad that there’s so much restriction.”
But a few others like Arun S Padaki, a principal consultant (banking) observes that dance clubs are not a great indication of a City’s nightlife. “Bangalore still has a decent nightlife. It is also a question of self discipline, as majority of the people visiting dance clubs, don’t know how to behave. After the clubs close, their spirits spill onto the road and that’s where the problem starts,” he sums up.