Hyderabad pubs posing grave threat to customers; safety norms ignored
Deccan Chronicle.| dc correspondent
According to GHMC officials, these pubs neither have trade licence, parking space nor do they comply with fire safety standards
Officials say the corporation has already served notices on owners to rectify flaws and adhere to the building and fire safety norms. (Representational Image/ DC)
Hyderabad: Pubs in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) have been posing a serious threat to the safety of customers. Most of these located in Jubilee Hills and Banjara Hills do not comply with the building rules, officials say.
"They do not adhere to safety norms and they have no parking space. With highly inflammable infrastructure and equipment present inside, the customers gathering in large huge numbers, especially during weekends, are risking their lives," officials note.
Safety inspectors have turned a blind eye to instructions from special chief secretary and Municipal Administration and Urban Development principal secretary Arvind Kumar. His orders to pubs to adhere to safety norms, issued in April 2019, remained on paper.
According to GHMC officials, these pubs neither have trade licence, parking space nor do they comply with fire safety standards as prescribed by the civic body. They say the pub owners are taking advantage of legal loopholes and got stay orders immediately after seizures. "These pubs have been operating in illegal constructions and customer safety is at risk. The pubs do not even have the second exit points in case of an emergency."
Officials say the corporation has already served notices on owners to rectify flaws and adhere to the building and fire safety norms.
A GHMC official told Deccan Chronicle that mid-level officials are hand in glove with the pub managements and have allowed the trade to be operated in structures that have only residential building permissions. Citing legal loopholes, the pub managements have been winning stay orders from courts.
The official said the corporation's legal cell is not even bothering to file counter arguments to fight against the illegal constructions and to safeguard the interest of the customers.
He said despite demolishing the structures, unauthorised constructions have been mushrooming again, especially the hookah bars. Asked about the parking lot violations despite the instructions of MA&UD principal secretary Arvind Kumar, he refused comment.
Paying heed to the numerous complaints on haphazard parking around pubs located in Jubilee Hills and Banjara Hills, Arvind Kumar had, in April 2019, advised the GHMC to check if these establishments were maintaining the space for parking. The pubs and bars in and around Jubilee Hills get quite busy in the evening. However, due to the poor availability of parking spaces, the vehicles are parked around the pubs, causing traffic congestion.
Taking note of the numerous complaints received in this regard, Kumar asked the commissioner to inspect all establishments to ensure they provide the required parking space as per the building rules. However, this was not acted upon.