Residents' agitation pays off, illegal pubs in Indiranagar shut down

Two illegal pubs in Indiranagar 2nd Stage were closed on Friday night on the orders of Dr Ashok, Joint Commissioner (East), BBMP. The senior official visited the area following complaints from residents.  

Jonah's and Fatty Bao shut up their shop as they were found to be operating in a residential area  in clear violations of the rules.  Tippler – On the Roof, another well-known bar, shut down on Thursday following high court orders.  

The official's inspection prompted many  pubs and bars to  cease operations for the day. One of them, The Humming Tree, even cancelled a scheduled evening  gig.  

More than 100 residents held a candlelight vigil on Friday protesting against commercial shops in residential areas.  

Rooftop bars and restaurants were the main targets of the inspection as most of the complaints were about them.  "Most of these rooftop bars and pubs do not have permission to function in residential areas. They do not even comply with fire safety or building plan norms. They remain open until late in the night and keep blaring sound, disturbing the neighbourhood," said Ashok Sarath, a resident.

When asked whether the closing down of these pubs was a temporary measure, he said: "It is for the  first time that a joint commissioner has actually come to our place and taken some action. We are hopeful something good will come out of this."

He added that Dr Ashok had promised to go after the illegal establishments and shut them down in 15 days.

As many as 90 pubs, bars and liquor shops operate out of the bylanes of 12th Main Road, 100 Feet Road, CMH Road and 80 Feet Road, according to Vinoo Thimmayya, a resident.

Some residents suggest traders are hand in glove with the police.  "The BBMP has been misleading  all these days. It claims to have issued closure notices to these pubs and bars, but they are open every day of the week. Sometimes, there are ladies night events and the noise goes on until 1.30 am," Newton said.  

Sneha Nandihal, president, BM Kaval Bairasandra Resident Welfare Association, said:  "These watering holes have commercial connections for electricity and water, which again is illegal."  

The residents' activism against the watering holes seems to have riled the traders. Nandihal and Aruna Newton,  president, HAL 2nd Stage Civic Amenities and Cultural Association of Indiranagar, alleged receiving violent  threats from Siddaramu, the  president of Traders Association, 100 Feet Road.  "We are worried about our personal safety now," Nandihal said.  

The joint commissioner could not be reached for  a response.

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