New Year’s Eve is almost upon us. And while many are making plans to usher in the new year with pomp and party, it has raised some concerns for residents in Indiranagar.
Indiranagar has a good number of watering holes. And with the city police increasing scrutiny at MG road and Brigade road after incidents of molestation last New Year’s Eve, residents of Indiranagar think that a good number of people will see Indiranagar and Koramangala as alternative party destinations this year.
Members of I Change Indiranagar, a congregation of Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs), met with Additional Commissioner of Police Seemanth Kumar on Friday to communicate their concerns.
Indira Vishwanathan, Secretary of the Social Amenities Association, said that the concerns they had about December 31 night were actually things they faced on a day to day basis, but amplified.
“Pubs play loud music till late in the night, even after 10pm, which is against Supreme Court’s orders,” she says. “Many times they keep their doors open and the loud music does not allow us to sleep until they shut down. And when the music stops, the people come out and there’s so much noise… people shouting, drunken brawls and what not.”
With New Year’s Eve upon them, Indiranagar residents worry that apart from these issues, they will also face problems in terms of parking and spillover of the revelry into residential areas.
“Most of these restaurants and pubs do not have parking. They have this so called valet parking but the only thing they do is park their vehicles in the residential streets. We can’t even come out of our houses after 8pm, let alone getting back home from somewhere after a late night,” Indira says.
She also talks about the nuisance of rooftop bars, which, she says are not allowed in residential areas. And due to lack of walls, the music also carries towards the residential areas. Some places have made their rooftop bars enclosed, which she points out makes it prone to fire hazards. “After what happened in Mumbai Kamala Mills, on Thursday night, we want to take the right precautions in Indiranagar,” Indira says.
Residents of Indiranagar have been protesting against rooftop pubs in the locality for a while now. Recently, three prominent rooftop bars including Jonah’s and Tippler on the Roof were shut down by the BBMP for operation from illegal, temporary structures. Residents have submitted a list of 24 such pubs to the BBMP, which the latter has promised to inspect.
Ashok Sharat, part of the Defense Colony RWA in Indiranagar, says that with over 2,000 police officers patrolling the Central Business District (which includes MG road, Brigade road areas), there won’t be enough manpower for areas like Indiranagar and Koramangala which also see a heavy rush on New Year’s Eve.
Overall, I Change Indiranagar representatives made the following demands.
1. Ensure music from pubs does not exceed beyond 45dB post 10 pm, as per the Supreme Court’s order
2. Parking of patrons’ cars and vehicles not be allowed in the residential by lanes
3. Ensure no revelry spills on to the streets resulting in riotous behaviour
4. No rooftop bars be allowed to function, considering they are illegal and music from these pubs will carry afar.
Ashok and Indira say that they have received an assurance from Kumar that they will ensure a smooth New Year’s Eve with the following measures:
1. Police booths at regular intervals on 100 feet road and 12th Main
2. Increased patrolling by police in the by lanes to ensure there are no law and order issues
3. All pubs to have CCTV cameras and not allow more people than they can accommodate
Kumar also assured them, Indira said, that they would meet with the Fire Department to discuss about the rooftop bars operating illegally in Indiranagar.