Published On : Tue, Mar 28th, 2017

Unfair and Unjust – When Mumbai places can remain open till 4 a.m. why curfew of 11 p.m. for Nagpurians??

mumbai cafe
I have been part of this scene too often in our ‘young city’ of Nagpur.

We are at Futala lake front, or the Nescafe Illusions – Natural Ice cream joints at Ambazari road (the latest hot spot of city), the crowd is at its peak, and suddenly lights start going off, fans are shut down and chairs start getting piled up. Clear signals that you should head home now. And it is not even 11 p.m.!

At Futala, not just lights were switched off when we were in the middle of dinner, but a cop car began harassing us, shouting out our car number and asking for it to be ‘removed’ – though it was in a valid parking area. Again, just because it was 11 p.m.


The Dhaba scene

The many dhabas that exist on the sides of Wardha road and Amravati road say this rule is killing them. Many of them have closed down or not doing good business because of this rule which did not exist earlier.

It is only the dhabas that are off the main roads, situated on some small country roads that do thriving business right up to early hours of morning!

Why 11 is too early?

Nagpur is a city of medical practitioners running their small, individual Hospitals with OPDs, a city of shop keepers that serve public till 10 p.m., and other such self employed people. They can go home, collect their families and go out for dinner only after 10.30 p.m. How can you expect them to finish eating and go home by 11 p.m.?

Anyone who has been to popular places like the restaurants in Ramdaspeth will vouch for the fact that a place would begin filling up at 11 p.m.!!

Hot sun keeps people indoors all day

Another reason why Nagpurians like to get out more at night in summers is because the heat of the day forces you to remain indoors. It is only after 9 p.m. or so that the breeze gets a little salubrious and atmosphere gets pleasant. It is this time that youngsters and the young at heart want to go outdoors and enjoy the breeze before the holocaust of May begins! (Then even 10 p.m. seems like Hell!!)

To send people back indoors by 11 p.m. at such times seems cruel indeed.

Better for Crime Control too

If you talk to police personnel they will tell you that this rule has been imposed for crime control.

But I disagree.

As long as people are at a cafe/ restaurant/ bar they can be kept watch over. It is when these places close down and the ‘action’ shifts to cars parked on unlit and deserted streets that the scope for mischief increases. It is obvious that the city police cannot keep a watch over EVERY street of Nagpur but residents will tell you what a nuisance such ‘car parties’ can get. You have car music blaring at 2 a.m. and inebriated youth pissing at your gate – I have witnessed this scene often myself on the Central Bazar road in Bajaj Nagar. The whole stretch becomes an open air bar – naturally since it has not one but two wine shops close to each other!!

This is the scene at every road which has wine shops, ‘connoisseurs’ just get their beer/ whisky/ rum, some snacks from a road side restaurant and the party goes on till the bottles last.

Keep them open till midnight at least

Police and city fathers can adopt a two pronged strategy. Keep restaurants and coffee shops open till midnight.

After 12 midnight, do alcohol-checking rigidly specially for two wheeler and 4 wheeler drivers.

Another rule we can apply that is observed very strictly in countries like USA – make it an offense to have open bottles of liquors in cars. Even if there is no sign (yet) that the occupants are drunk. The presence of the open bottle means the party has just begun.

If possible for Mumbai, why not Nagpur?

On public demand, and supposedly catering to ‘foreign visitors’ many Mumbai food joints have permission to serve customers till 4 a.m. even.

Places like Bachelors -serving milk shakes,cold drinks and snacks, situated at Chowpatty Sea face, Bade Miya, for Kababs and Mughlai food, situated at Colaba, behind Taj Mahal Hotel and Ayub’s at fort are all open till 4 a.m.

Other places in the suburbs like Sigdi at Bandra, Zaffran at CST and The Night Chulha at Oshiwara, are all open way past midnight, then why not restaurants in Nagpur too?

Isn’t Nagpur the second capital of the state? Shouldn’t we enjoy some of the same benefits like the Mumbai guys!! Please give it a thought.