While the Restaurant Industry was already reeling from the effects of Demonetization, new rulings are posing a severe threat to the future of the restaurants, especially in the Delhi NCR.
Connaught Place, which seemed to slowly transition as the city’s party destination, witnessed an unfortunate event where a rooftop caved-in at Block C of the place. This tragic incident has raised multiple concerns about the safety of one of the most popular heritage destinations of Delhi. In the wake of this, The New Delhi Multiple Corporation (NDMC) has sealed rooftop sections of 21 popular restaurants, which followed a face-off between the restaurant owners and the civic authorities. Traders and restaurateurs took the roads to express their disapproval over NDMC’s decision.
The recent incident further fuelled the fury over the ban on vehicles in the Inner Circle and Middle Circle of Connaught Place, to pedestrianize the area. It is also being said that the authorities are trying to create a rift between restaurant owners, shopkeepers and traders, so that their united stands against the pedestrianization breaks.
The latter, on the other hand, is accusing restaurant owners of subverting business practices in order to sustain profits, despite being given several warnings to not use rooftop terraces.
Even Gurgaon has been significantly affected by the Red Tapism. The Supreme Court had directed States and Union Territories to stop the sale of liquor within 500 meters of National and State Highways, as well as on Service Lanes along highways. The famous Cyber Hub, which houses a number of high-end restaurants and pubs, also comes under this direction. However, bar and pub owners of Cyber Hub, which is one of its kind place in India are demanding a clarity on whether the ban is on liquor shops or also for bar and pubs, which will lead to a major revenue and employment loss.
Not just this, the regressive excise policy of Haryana, which bans serving alcohol in open-air has also left a lot of restaurant owners baffled, as the open-air concept of Cyber Hub is perhaps the greatest attraction of the place.
Restaurateurs and traders associated with the concerned areas are raising concerns and disappointment against the impositions on the restaurant industry, and a cordial co-existence of the civic authorities with the restaurant owners seems to be at threat at this time.
Earlier last year, the government had stopped issuing Liquor License to new restaurants that have caused several new establishments to face losses and even shut down.
Already overburdened with taxes, regulations, and licensing procedures, the future of restaurants in the Delhi NCR looks bleak. With growing concerns about public safety and welfare, let us hope the government and businesses cooperate to exist together.
Image Source: Hindustan Times