Mixed reactions to draft of new rules for dance bars in Maharashtra

While social activists welcomed the draft and said it would help contain issues like harassment, members of the hotel industry said they have not received any confirmation on it

As the state government’s draft of the new set of rules for dance bars is moving forward, there are mixed reactions to it from different sections of society. One of the rules it is learnt, says that every dance bar must have CCTVs with coverage beamed live to the nearest police station.

Read Column: Stem the rot before trying yet another dance bar ban

Police are yet to receive a proper brief of the plan of action or reason behind fitting CCTVs in dance bars. Pic for representation
Police are yet to receive a proper brief of the plan of action or reason behind fitting CCTVs in dance bars. Pic for representation

While social activists say the draft of new rules like these will help contain issues like harassment, members of the restaurant industry say they have not got any confirmation on the draft itself. Social activists welcomed the draft and its rules, and said that it will help contain cases of harassment, as well as abuse which take place more than occasionally in dance bars.

Also Read: Will explore all legal options on SC dance bars order: Devendra Fadnavis

Speaking to mid-day, Varsha Kale, President of Womanist Party of India who has been fighting for the rights of the bar dancers said, “CCTVs are already present in majority of the bars, as owners have installed them for their own security. However, now with police monitoring the dance bars, issues of harassment will reach them. I am not aware if the government is making a new draft for dance bars, but have been informed that they are making few changes in the guidelines for running a dance bar.”

An official of the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR) said that while reactions are coming from different sections of society, there is no confirmation on the draft, which has become a controversial issue amidst the folk of the industry. When contacted, Adarsh Shetty, president of AHAR, said that they would take up the matter once the authorities confirm the authenticity of the proposition. At the same time, he pointed out the impracticality of the issue.

“First of all there is no official confirmation till now for this particular proposition, hence there is no point in raising the issue right now. However, it cannot be ignored that considering the number of bars, keeping watch on all of them by CCTV is impractical,” said Shetty. Another member of the association, supporting the views of Shetty said that they would definitely raise the issue the moment its implementation process starts.

Read Story: Supreme Court allows dance bars to reopen in Maharashtra

On the other hand, Mumbai Police are yet to receive a proper brief of the plan of action, or reason behind fitting CCTV cameras in the dance bars. When asked, Atulchandra Kulkarni, Joint Commissioner, Crime, said that he is yet to receive any information, hence he wont be able to comment on the feasibility of the draft. “If the state government has already decided to implement the rule, there is no question of it being feasible. However, I haven’t received any update about the actual reason behind fitting CCTVs in dance bars hence I wont be able to comment on the issue,” said Kulkarni.

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