You can never return from a pub or club in the city happy — there’s always some chaos whether it’s eve-teasing, fights, and now fire hazards. After the horrific Mumbai fire, another fire broke out at a resto pub in Bengaluru on January 8 which took the lives of seven people. The important question of safety for regular pub-goers looms large. Infrastructure woes of pubs are also being questioned. Regular pub-goers delve into the issues that need to be addressed.
Kunal Sharma, a 24-year-old regular tippler expresses concern on the infrastructure and security of bars in the city, “The infrastructure of many of these pubs, clubs is not consistent. Many just concentrate on interiors but overall infrastructure and safety measures are not strong enough. Many pubs don’t have fire extinguishers or smoke detectors and sprinklers installed. Approvals from committees that look into fire hazards is a must.”
Many even take advantage of the fact that they have an open space like a terrace, and have fire shows that might not be safe or plastic sheets that are a big no-no. Fire hazard is not the only thing that concerns people in the pub-hopping Bengaluru. Pratibha Singh, a software engineer speaks of the poor CCTV facilities at pubs, “I feel there should be several CCTV cameras outside and inside clubs because once the crowd increases, it’s easier for people to create a nuisance. I am saying this from my experience of a Saturday night where I was groped from behind while dancing with 13 friends of mine. My friends and I were unsure who was the culprit and thus could do nothing about it. Such people should be recognised, and barred from entering and spoiling the peace of such places.”
A city-based architect speaks of the safety measures that pubs and lounge bars can take to avoid such incidents which endanger the lives of others. Poulomi Das, an architect who designs clubs and cafe’s says, “The first and foremost measure to be followed are fire norms that have been set by the government — providing fire fighting systems (sprinklers and extinguishers along with fire and smoke detectors). Generally clients do not entertain provisions for fire exit doors to increase covers. In addition, we as designers should opt for fire-rated materials which go into making the space. A normal thought like pressurising your lift/stairwell gets ignored these days. Our job is not just to make the space look pretty but also to make it user-friendly especially in extreme situation like these.”