Prohibition and Excise Minister V Srinivas Goud said that if there are drug related incidents at any pub, the owner will be taken into custody.

Drug related activities not allowed in pubs, says Hyderabad Excise ministerRepresentative Image
news Crime Monday, January 31, 2022 - 21:07

Music will be allowed in Hyderabad’s pubs and bars, but the owners will have to keep noise levels within acceptable limits, according to state Prohibition and Excise Minister V Srinivas Goud, who held a meeting with all pub establishment owners in Hyderabad on January 31, Monday. This comes after reports that there was a ban on music in the city’s establishments to curb the consumption of drugs. The meeting was held with pub establishment owners to eradicate the use of drugs and narcotics and drug peddling in the city, he said.

Speaking to the press, he said that some pubs are creating sound pollution with their sound systems, and that they must be made modern and soundproof such that even those next door should not have an issue.

“Can play [music] within limits, without disturbance. If it was 100 [decibels] earlier, play at 50. The music system should be light and fun, if it’s heavy with dances and such programs it will be shut down. The question is not about music, it's about drugs and ganja. If there’s loud music, you won’t know what’s happening, people will engage in such activities. Music shouldn’t be such that it encourages the customers in a different way, it should be pleasant,” he said.

“If we receive sound pollution complaints, authorities will inspect and shut down the sound system,” he added.

The focus of the meeting, however, was on the consumption of drugs. The minister said that pub owners must take responsibility for the actions of customers when it comes to drug use, and report names of suspicious individuals. A senior excise official told them to pass on any information of suspicious activity or persons, and if the police verify it, those people will be booked. He added that owners would not be liable for just passing on information.

“We will protect their identity and see if they should be sent to deaddiction centres, how to prevent them from doing so in the future, and will trace the sources of the drugs and prevent them from spreading further,” the minister said, adding that he wants all such “incidents” to be brought down to zero within one month.

He told owners to talk to their staff if they see any suspicious activity, as servers will have first hand information.

“Prohibition and Excise toll free helpline 1800 425 2523 must be displayed in pubs prominently. We will give incentives to pubs which provide information and cooperate over such cases. If you find someone suspicious and want to hold them and report them, and they say they have political influence, don't worry. Whomever they name, if you find them suspicious, you can detain them without fear,” Srinivas Goud said.

He added that if there are drug related incidents at any pub, the owner will be taken into custody. “Any pub where drugs are found, serve notice immediately, close it and take the owner into custody. If we do that in 2-3 cases, everyone will come into control,” the minister told police officers.

Ketan Agarwal, joint secretary of the National Restaurant Association of India’s Hyderabad Chapter and owner of the Fat Pigeon, said, “We’d like to take every measure which the  government tells us to be implemented in all our properties. We will support the government in every form from our side. We want to work with the government hand in hand so it’s beneficial for all of us. NRAI wants to do a “no drugs” campaign with the government, plus take precautions, frisking, do proper checks, keep an eye on customers etc.,” he said.

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