Nagpur: So tomorrow is 31st December, the last day of the year when the whole world goes into a frenzy of celebrations.
Traditionally New Year’s eve has been a Christian festival since it’s new year only according to the Christian calendar, not the (Hindu) Indian or the Chinese or even the Arabic but since the world follows this calendar now, it’s a universal “ringing in of the New Year!”
If one is not going to a club/ restaurant/ discotheque one is thought to be ‘missing out on something special’ and being ‘backward’. There is social pressure to ‘party’… which means mostly drinking alcoholic beverages and dancing to Bollywood numbers.
Its time to ‘make a killing’ for hospitality industry
No wonder all restaurants/ bars want cash in on this social need and make a killing.
They all announce special buffets, music, bonfires and sometime even the presence of celebrities.
Rates for clubs like Gondwana and C.P. club can go to Rs. 3000/ per head also ( which does not include drinks).
Everyone else also gets into the act following the lead of these clubs.
But how many get legal permission?
If you are running a discotheque at a large hotel you are supposed to pay Rs. one lakh ‘fees’ per month to authorities. Rs. 50,000/ if you are a smaller place. Even to turn your place into a discotheque for a night requires permissions and licenses.
According to the Nagpur police, not one hotel or restaurant has applied for this permission so far – and today is the 30th December already.
All are planning special structures, decorations, lighting and special foods cooked outdoors. All things given to catching fire easily given that a bonfire will also be a MUST at these places.
Forget the permission for dancing, how many would have had safety and fire audit done for the special ‘set ups?’
Clubs mentioned above – Gondwana and C.P. – are turning their parking lots into outdoor party venues with parking given far away. (Downhill in the case of Gondwana.) Special structures are being put up, carpenters have been busy working for days on it now. There will be colorful lighting of these sructures; what if there is short circuit and something catches fire?
Have they even declared what will be the limit of patrons accommodated?
Are they paying taxes on the huge ‘sale’ they make tomorrow?
All these and many questions will beset police and law enforcement tomorrow night, given its going to be night of non stop revelry and drinking.
In the light of the horrendous fire at Mumbai pubs two days ago, let us see if more consciousness about adhering to laws has stepped in?