For all the revellers who made grand plans to dance the night away the New Year’s Eve, it would be better to have a Plan B because it has been learnt that city hoteliers are yet to get permission to play music all night long on December 31.
Party organisers said every year they file a fresh request with the city police, seeking their consent to host a party at the designated venue and play music till the wee hours of the New Year.
“Last year, the police department’s Social Service Branch withdrew permission for playing music all night long at the last minute. But bars and eateries were allowed to operate till 5 am. We have been appealing to the government to make a blanket ruling that all bars and hotels can remain open and play music till 3 am on the night of December 31. Every year we apply to seek fresh permission, which spoils everything. We have been making this appeal for the last two years, but unfortunately nothing has been done till date,” said Sudhakar Shetty, president of the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR).
Confusion prevailed among hoteliers over the order passed by the high court last year, stating that all bars could operate till 5 am on New Year’s, as it lacked a categorical mention about the extended deadline for playing music. Hence the Orchestra Bar Owners Association moved the High Court seeking an extension to the deadline for playing music. The association said the step was taken to avoid last minute harassment at the hands of the police. However, the court rejected its plea to play music till 5 am.
“I hope the government gives us permission to play music till 5 am. Last year, due to confusion over the deadline, several organisers cancelled their events at the eleventh hour. No party can be hosted without music on New Year’s Eve. We have already submitted an application to the CM to look into these matters and hope to get some relief this New Year,” said Kamlesh Barot, ex-president of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRA-WI).