SEATING arrangements are being given the final touches, lights are being re-positioned, and applications from dancers have started coming. Bar owners are gearing up for dance performances on their premises after a gap of 11 years. The Mumbai Police, prodded by the Supreme Court order asking them to provide licences for dance bars before March 15, issued the same to four bars on Tuesday.
The first dance bars to reopen are primarily located in the eastern suburbs. The police will grant several more licences during the week. A senior officer said, “The four bar owners have to get a character certificate for their staff and a Rangbhoomi licence — which will state that the songs will not have lyrics that could hurt anyone’s sentiments — before they can start operating the bars.” Bharat Thakur, owner of Indiana bar in Tardeo, said they had already submitted the “bio-data” of their staff with the police. “We will also get the Rangbhoomi licence in a day or two and should be operational within two to three days,” he said.
Thakur, however, added, “Since the other bars too will be getting permissions and starting soon, we will wait for them and start together.” He said they needed some time also to appoint dancers and prepare them for the performances. “It has been 11 years and we are in the process of setting up the stage, the seating arrangements and giving the final touches before the place becomes operational,” he said. When asked about bar dancers, he said, “Since the news has been spread through the media, we have had applications from bar dancers within Mumbai. There is a lot of talent in India and we hope to receive many more applications.”
The Dance Bar Association had petitioned the apex court hearing the matter, after the Maharashtra Police had introduced 26 conditions that bar owners had to fulfill to get a bar licence.
Many conditions like CCTV coverage and a three-inch boundary around the stage, were contested by the association. The apex court relaxed some of the conditions and asked the police to grant licences before March 15.