Now, citizens to fight illegal pubs with RTIs

Angry and fed up of the noise and nuisance that goes with living near a lounge/pub, a group of residents have put their foot down this time and held a meeting asking residents to verify if pubs, restaurants and lounges in their areas were legal and had all the required licences by the using the Right to Information Act.

Enough is enough: Local residents collected at Juhu under the Better Citizens for Mumbai banner demanding for illegal pubs and restaurants to shut down. Pic/nimesh dave

At a meeting held yesterday at Juhu, residents from Bandra to Goregaon collected under the name of Citizens for Better Mumbai — a forum spearheaded by film personality Ashok Pandit and others like Anandini Thakur — urged other citizens to take an active role in ensuring that pubs in their vicinities were legal.

During the course of the meeting, the members asked residents to file RTIs in order to identify which establishments had flouted rules and which ones were illegal.

Justifying their aim, Pandit said, “We have nothing against the pub culture but it is a nuisance for those who live nearby.”

He added that they had distributed pamphlets to all those who were present at the meet to show them how to use the RTI to their advantage.

Pandit told MiD DAY that once the RTIs were registered and they received the information on the restaurants, pubs and lounges, they intended to compile the information and send it to the local authorities and state government asking them to shut them down.

One such RTI was filed by Aftab Siddique of the 32 Khar Advanced Locality Management (ALM) complaining about Elbo Room, Hawaiian Shack and Firangi Paani in Bandra stating that they were disturbing the peace and order of the area.

“We are attempting to stop all violations by these places. There are several eateries that are illegal or have encroached on public property, said Siddique.

The members of Citizens for Better Mumbai also added that they wanted such eateries and pubs to be shifted to business areas so that locals would not be disturbed.

“We have been complaining for so long about the patrons of these clubs who make a racket outside the establishments and also throw bottles, glasses and sometimes even condoms polluting the area. This is our way of tackling the problem in a legal manner,” said one of the members.  

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