Now, excise dept hits the roof

May 30, 2012, 07:10 IST | Urvashi Seth

Officials say they will be extra vigilant and licences will be issued for rooftop parties only after checking if neighbouring buildings are not disturbed

If you are one of those who loves the idea of throwing a party at rooftop restaurants or your building terrace, chances of you securing a one-day party licence to serve liquor will now be bleak. A week after police busted a rooftop party at Oakwood hotel, Juhu, the state excise department will now turn stricter in granting one-day party licences for parties to be held at rooftop venues.

Stringent steps: Excise officials have decided to get tough while issuing a one-day party licence, especially for rooftop bars

At a meeting held between excise officials last week, the department has decided to get tough while issuing a licence, especially for rooftop bars. “The department will be extra vigilant before they issue a one-day party licence for rooftop parties. The department will make sure that licence will be issued only after due inspection, making sure that the residents in neighbouring areas are not disturbed,” said Sanjay Mukherjee, commissioner, state excise.

According to sources, the department is also collecting data on the number of rooftop restaurants in the city. “We have been asked to submit details of rooftop bars in our respective areas. The department has asked us to submit the entire history of the concerned licensee,” said an excise official, on condition of anonymity. MiD DAY had earlier reported (Having a party? Prepare for some surprise guests, may 22) about how the State Excise Department issued strict orders just 24 hours after the Juhu rave party, making it mandatory for all ward officers to conduct surprise checks at venues, which have been issued with one-day party licences.

The order issued by the department reads that the department has decided to pull up the venue owner and the licence holder if there is evidence of any wrongdoing at the venue. “It won’t be easy to get the one day party licence, as it will be issued only after a thorough scrutiny and inspection and if drinking laws are not violated. We request all party organisers and partygoers not to consume alcohol without a valid drinking permit. Also party organisers should apply for a party licence before organising a party, which will be provided on the same day or in 7 working days,” added Mukherjee. Manuela Saldhana, ALM Bandra welcomed the initiative of the excise department. “We are not against any pub or bar. But our contention is that one cannot party at the cost of causing bother to residents.”  

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