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Friday, September 18, 2020

Chandigarh bar owners buckle up to reopen, 60 submit licence fee

Arrangements are being made in the bars to ensure that there is distancing among the customers who come to avail the facilities. The premises are also being sanitised.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | September 3, 2020 8:37:45 am
With the Chandigarh administration giving permission to open bars with proper protocols in place, bar owners are coming up with innovative methods to ensure safety of customers and their staff in the times of coronavirus outbreak. (Express photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

With a hope to resume the halted nightlife, over 60 bars out of the totals 110 operating in Chandigarh submitted the licence fee to the Excise and Taxation department.

Bar owners said that some of them are facing problems with their landlords over delay and non-payment of rent.

Assistant Excise and taxation Commissioner R K Chaudhary said that an amount of Rs 3 crore has been collected as licence fee from the bar owners in Chandigarh.

“In these two days, over 60 of them have paid their licence fee and they are permitted to open now with distancing norms and other protocol in place. There are a total of 110 of bar owners in the city,” he said. The Excise department is expecting to collect a total of Rs five crore as licence fee from bar owners.

“In fact, due to lockdown there was no income for bar owners and thus, they had issues while paying rent to landlords. The rents are sky-rocketing especially in Sector 26 and Sector 7 Madhya Marg line. So, we are hopeful that the deadlock between them will settle down and they can re-open,” said one of the hoteliers.

President of Chandigarh Hospitality Association Ankit Gupta said that they are hopeful of the bar business to pick up gradually. “We are in the settling process and hopeful that our business will be back to normal,” he said.

Arrangements are being made in the bars to ensure that there is distancing among the customers who come to avail the facilities. The premises are also being sanitised.

A city hotelier MPS Chawla said staff is being arranged as most of them had gone back home due to closure of the bar business. “Most of the staff members of the hotels and bars had gone home as bars had shut until further orders. So, most of us are making arrangements for the staff,” he said.

Hoteliers said that bars are the life of hotels and restaurants, as for food, people prefer takeaway orders now.

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