New schools brew trouble for old bars in Mira Road
Bars and wine shops in Mira Road face wrath of educational institutions set up after them, due to ambiguous rules; owners demand clarity
The Cosmopolitan School in Mira Road was established five years after (left) Lotus Bar, which stands right next to it. Pic/Dutta Kumbhar
Even as bars are prohibited to run within the radius of 100 km of educational and religious institutions, there are no such rules for the latter when it comes to choosing a site for their establishment, putting bar owners in a difficult spot.
Two such cases recently came to light in Mira Road, where bars running much before the inception of the schools are now being questioned by parents for being too close to the schools’ premises.
The Cosmopolitan School in Mira Road opened in 2014, nearly five years after Lotus Bar, which stands right next to it. However, parents have demanded that the bar shut shop. “Because of the dance bar and wine shops many drunkards roam in this area. It is frightening to send our kids to school,” said a mother of a child studying in Class 1 at Cosmopolitan School.
Parents at Euro School, situated near Jangir Circle area of Mira Road, have a similar grievance.
While the schools haven’t filed an official complaint against the bars, these cases have put the spotlight on the ambiguity in the rules. Bar owners say they might end up with a raw deal. “If there are so many rules for bars, why are there no rules for educational institutions? How are we at fault when the school came much after us?” asked the manager of Chetan Wine shop, which is situated next to Euro School.
Prashant Apte of the Miraj Wines in Mira Road admitted that school students often loiter around their shops. “If they approach us, we blatantly refuse. But, it is the school’s responsibility to have campuses far from bar shops.”
However, Vibha Shrivastava, head of Euro Kid said this situation is unavoidable. "Wine shops are everywhere, which makes it very difficult for educational institutions to find a perfect location.” Neelam Pathak, the principal of Cosmopolitan School refused to comment on the issue.
Speaking to mid-day, BB Chavan, the deputy director of education said “Schools should be careful before choosing a location. This is absolutely wrong on their part.”
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