Using his discretionary powers to reduce the time limit for revelry, considering the law and order situation in the area, district collector Vikas Deshmukh has directed all the restaurants, permit room, clubs, and liquor shops to serve alcohol only till 1.30 am on January 1.
Amid confusion over whether denizens would get a chance to party till 5 am on the first day of 2014, as per the state government’s recent announcement, Deshmukh clarified that the government’s decision would not be applicable to the party venues in the district.
Superintendent of state excise department of Pune AB Chaskar said that yesterday morning he had received instructions from Deshmukh and, accordingly, he gave directions to stop the sale of foreign liquor, beer and country liquor at 1 am, and to shut permit rooms and clubs at 1.30 am on January 1.
Speaking with MiD DAY, Deshmukh said that last year too the state government had given the permission of partying until 5 am.
However, using his discretionary powers, he had curtailed the time limit to 1.30 am on January 1.
On the other hand, superintendent of police (rural) Manoj Kumar Lohiya said that following the decision of the district collectorate, necessary measures would be taken to ensure that celebrations happen in full flow without any unpleasant incidents.
Meanwhile, hotel owners also said that even if they had submitted a proposal to grant the permission of partying till 5 am, the fact is they hardly receive a crowd of customers after 1 am.
President of Pune Restaurants and Hoteliers Association (PRHA) Ganesh Shetty, who is also the proprietor of Kalinga restaurant, said that he had experienced that the working class people stayed away from celebrating New Year’s Eve after a certain hour.
“I have seen that citizens don’t roam around after 1 am, so there is no need to extend the time limit. We have submitted a proposal as a precaution, so that even if some of our members keep their restaurants open after 1.30 am, they do not face any action from police,” said Shetty. PRHA has 450 hotel owners as its members from across the district.