Millennium Post

Narrow lanes of Hauz Khas Village a death trap

 This is the eligibility criteria that almost all the restro-cum-bars in the narrow lanes of Hauz Khas Village in South Delhi are taking advantage of.

With time, Hauz Khas Village has become the hot spot for the Delhiites or the tourists in the national Capital. It would be apt to say that this place has given a tough competition to Connaught Place, one of the most popular places to hang-out in the city.

Though the trendy bars and the crowd attracts most of the youth to Hauz Khas Village where people hardly get a place to walk, at the same time the visitors are putting their lives at risk here. The narrow lanes of Hauz Khas Village which is surrounded with eateries, fashion and art galleries, bars, restaurants and other business outlets have gained popularity among youth for night life. But before entering these narrow lanes, the visitors forget that this place is a hub of illegal commercial establishments that is a constant threat to ones life, considering the fact that they hardly follow the basic mandatory legal precautions.

There are 70 bar-cum-restaurants in Hauz Khas Village and because of the congested and narrow roads, fire tenders cannot reach the spot when there is a blaze. Believe it or not, out of the 70 bar-cum-restaurants, only three have the NOC from the fire department. And only few of them have taken license from other concerned authorities like Delhi Police, Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Delhi Pollution Control Committee.

When Millennium Post asked G C Mishra, director of fire department that despite the problems firemen face to douse fire in this area why is there no action, he said: “It’s not the fault of their owners. They have kept the seating arrangements below the eligibility criteria to have NOC. Most of the bar-cum-restaurants have less than 45-46 seats. If they expand it and facilitate above 50 seats, action could be taken against them for not having the NOC.” Meanwhile, Atul Garg, Fire Chief said: “Even if the remaining 67 bar-cum-restaurants want to take the NOC from fire department, we won’t permit them as they do not fit under the requirement category. The area is narrow and fire tenders cannot reach there. And in case of major fires, the risk turns double.” 

“The three bar-cum-restaurants includes Out of Box, Social Offline and Smoke House Deli. Two of them have taken the NOC from Fire around 15-20 years ago while the other had taken it five years ago. Instead of cancelling the NOC, the fire department renew it,” another official said.
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