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Bengaluru may extend closing time to 01:00 on all days, not just weekends


No increase in licence fee expected, move has Karnataka CM’s backing. Idea at conceptual stage.

The Karnataka government is thinking of permanently extending its deadline for restaurants and bars from 23.30 to 01:00 hrs. F&B operations serving liquor now close by 23.30 hrs on weekdays and 01:00 hrs on weekends. The police kept the deadline at 01:00 hrs for a full week between Christmas and January 1.

“During the week, no untoward incident took place, so we are looking at extending the deadline for all days,’’ said Dr. G Parameshwara, Karnataka home minster.

He was quick to add that no decision had been taken yet. A discussion with Excise department is expected soon. The proposal also was likely to have Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah’s backing. “When senior police officers approached him, he was all for extending the deadline for the new year celebrations. If the police are able to provide security, Siddaramaiah will support such a move,’’ a source said.

Ashish Kothare“An extended deadline gives them more time and binge drinking will come down. An extension by 90 minutes makes bars more welcoming to people who work late, but it may not result in a spike in business,” said Ashish Kothare, chapter head – Bengaluru, NRAI.

State Excise Commissioner S R Umashankar says if the government decides to extend the deadline, bars and restaurants do not have to take any separate permission or pay extra for it. “Currently, they are allowed to stay open till 23.30 hrs on weekdays. Even for an additional hour, they have to take a day’s licence by paying INR 11,500,” he said.

Police have over the years said they are short-staffed, and cannot provide security for people visiting bars and restaurants past midnight. However, they have been experimenting with an extended deadline on weekends for about a year. “Despite the staff crunch, the police are capable of providing security. We have a 30% shortage at the constabulary level but the recruitment process has begun,’’ Parameshwara said.

Source: New Indian Express

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