Stagger partying for New Year, says BBMP | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Endless revelry, parties that go on into the wee hours and glitzy concerts and events are likely to be missing in Bengaluru this New Year’s Eve, if BBMP has its way.
SOPs finalised by BBMP and submitted to the government for approval include staggered timings, restricted entry and advance bookings at hospitality venues beside a complete ban on special gatherings and concerts including ticketed events and partying in makeshift venues.
This comes in the wake of the government, last week, announcing a ban on all New Year Eve celebrations in public and ordering the hospitality sector to stick to only 50% of their established capacity.
Following the announcement, revenue minister R Ashoka had met with home minister Basavaraj Bommani, top city cops, civic body and disaster management officials to thrash out containment strategies in view of a feared second Covid-19 wave.
Senior bureaucrats privy to deliberations told TOI: “There will not be any gathering in places like Church Street, MG Road, Brigade Road or parallel roads, Kormanagala or Indiranagar among other common party hubs in the city.”
People found violating these measures will be penalized under provisions of Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act, 2020 and the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC, the official said.
Still clueless

However, Bengaluru’s famed hospitality sector is still clueless on what to expect since there has been no final word on the issue. Chetan Hedge, owner of pub 1522, said initially the government had said night curfew will be in place, but later quashed it. “We normally have events and parties during Christmas. DJ’s need to be booked but due to Covid-19 and lack of clarity, we have not planned anything,” Hedge said.
An owner of a chain of restaurants said he has already incurred huge losses due to the pandemic. “We pub owners and restaurateurs look at New Year as a way of catching up with lost business and achieving profits, but lack of clarity is affecting us,” he said. “Normally, events are planned by the first week of December.”
However, several clubs support the government’s intended measures. “We understand the seriousness of the pandemic and would not want to put our people at risk,” said HS Srikanth, secretary, Bowring Institute.

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Sagar Biswas

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