Dance bars set to reopen

Dance bars are set to reopen as the Mumbai Police issued the first set of licences to some of their owners yesterday. The Supreme Court had recently ordered them to issue licences without stringent norms. About 150 licence applications were accepted on Monday, 15 on Tuesday, and 100 others are expected to get their licences by the end of this month, police said yesterday.

Indiana bar at Tardeo, Natraj at Vidyavihar, Uma Palace at Mulund and Padma Palace at Bhandup were among the dance bars in Mumbai whose owners got licences. Adarsh Shetty, president, Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR), said that while the process of analyzing applications has started, not all the bars have received licences. “We are very happy that bars will finally reopen and all those who were unemployed will be able to earn their livelihood. Four bars have already received the licence and others will get them,” said Shetty.

On March 2, the SC had given a judgment in favour of the dance bars after a brief battle between them and Maharashtra government. The SC had directed the police in its order to issue licences to dance bars by March 15.

Apart from ruling out the most controversial demand of installing CCTVs around the performance area, the court also modified seven other conditions imposed by Maharashtra Police. “I am feeling very happy that now after years of battle; I will finally start the dance bar. I am waiting for my friends to get the licences so that we can share the happiness of starting business together,” said Bharat Thakur, owner of Indiana bar in Tardeo.

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