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South Delhi Municipal Corporation paves way for dining out on terrace



NEW DELHI: Soon, you might be able to enjoy dining in the open as the use of terraces and lawns as a service area for licensed eating houses has been incorporated in a new policy drafted by South Delhi Municipal Corporation. In the letter to the standing committee, SDMC commissioner Gyanesh Bharti said that he had received a representation from National Restaurant Association of India requesting that serving food in open areas and terraces adjacent to eating houses be allowed.

“There is a demand for such eating places in line with many foreign countries. A similar policy is already in place in Mumbai. Accordingly, it is proposed that servicing of food should be allowed in open spaces and terraces,” Bharti’s letter stated.

While serving liquor would be permitted at licensed terraces, the policy stated that view cutters and high parapet grilles would have to be used to minimise inconvenience to others. The draft policy stated, “Drinking on the terrace should not be visible to passersby as it may create a bad feeling. Additional measures will have to be taken to obstruct the visibility from high places.”

A senior corporation official said that acts like “throwing articles outside the space” and “avoiding complaints from the neighbourhood” have been incorporated to address the rights of the people living in the vicinity. Permission would be suspended or revoked in case nuisance is created. Moreover, no live band performance or music beyond permissible limits would be allowed.

To curb slow encroachment of the space, use of umbrellas, monsoon sheds or any kind of temporary cover won’t be permitted. The annual licensing fee for four-star hotels and restaurants would be Rs 200 per sq feet. Lower categories would get licences at half the price.

“The world over, restaurants and the dining industry are trying to maximise outdoor space usage due to Covid conditions and social distancing norms,” the corporation official said.

Separate permission would have to be taken from Delhi Fire Service. “No cooking will be allowed and stalls for ice-cream or fast food won’t be permitted in the open areas due to fire safety concerns,” said a municipal official.

The draft policy would be put before the SDMC standing committee on Friday. However, an official said the committee might deliberate on the matter for a longer period and it was highly unlikely that it would be passed on the same day.

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