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Delhi: 56 restaurants get nod for open-air dining; liquor license mandatory

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Fifty-six restaurants have been permitted to serve food and beverages in open spaces like terraces, while applications from ten other restaurants for the same are being reviewed, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) said.

Last year, the South civic body had approved a proposal to allow the use of open-air spaces and terraces abutting licensed eateries as service areas. As per the proposal, serving food and alcohol will be permitted in the open space, and the open-air area/terrace should not be covered. “If the open space is visible from nearby high places, additional measures to be taken to obstruct visibility,” it states. The service area should also not be visible from adjoining residential areas. Live performances will not be allowed and music cannot be played beyond the permissible time of 11 pm.

A total of 94 applications were received in the last nine months, according to the data given by the SDMC.

As per the SDMC’s open-air dining policy, a liquor licence, issued by the excise department, is mandatory to serve alcoholic beverages in open areas such as rooftops, balconies or lawns.

The policy was brought in last year after traders had said that allowing restaurants and eateries to serve food in open spaces is more relevant amid the pandemic, as there will be lower risks of the virus spreading as compared to closed spaces with air conditioning.

Under the policy, open-air dining has been allowed only at those restaurants with privately-owned open spaces like terraces, balconies and lawns so that there is no encroachment on public land or pavements.

A senior SDMC official said that in the last nine months till June-end, the civic body received 94 applications, out of which 56 were granted licences and 28 were rejected for not fulfilling the norms.

A total of 39 applications were received from areas in the South zone which like Hauz Khas, Green Park and Greater Kailash. Thirty-one applications were received from Najafgarh zone, which comprises areas like Dwarka, Aerocity, as per the SDMC data.

Fifteen applications were received from areas in the Central zone like Lajpat Nagar, Bhogal and Defence Colony. Nine applications were received from Western zone areas like Punjabi Bagh, Rajouri Garden and Tilak Nagar.

As many as 23 licenses were granted in the South zone, 25 in Najafgarh and seven in the Central zone. Only one was granted a license for open-air dining in the West zone.

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The above news was originally posted on indianexpress.com

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