BENGALURU: , which is usually packed to the gills on weekends with revellers gathering from across the city to have a blast at its pubs and bars, now wears a relatively deserted look.
The police department’s drive that makes a licence mandatory to play live or recorded at pubs, particularly in residential areas, has hit the business hard, claim managers. According to them, sales have reduced by over 50%.

When TOI visited Indiranagar 100 Feet Road on Friday, there was an unfamiliar ambience. Several establishments that see a large number of customers during weekends were empty.

“On a regular Friday night, the footfall is about 450, but now it has fallen to 250, with most of our visitors moving to pubs in Jayanagar and JP Nagar. Though our place is completely soundproof, we’ve reduced the to 20% of what it used to be,” said the operations manager of a pub. The pub had applied for licence and received an online acknowledgement from the authorities.

Some visitors at the pub said they prefer loud music to dance. However, Sebanti Chakrabarti, a software engineer, said: “We work under so much pressure and come here to relax. So listening to soft music is soothing.”

A manager of another pub said none of the regular customers had come on Friday. “Our customers come to listen to a certain kind of music, and now that isn’t possible. We’ve lowered the volume, with the sound not rising above 50 decibels. Earlier too, it had not crossed 60,” said the manager, adding that sales had fallen by over 80%.

The manager at a nearby establishment said they used to have a DJ who would play music from the 70’s and 80’s on weekends but now they are playing only recorded music. While in conversation with TOI, a police officer came and asked him to further lower the volume. “As the night progresses, he’ll come again and ask us to keep the volume down,” the manager rued.

Taking part in a citizens‘ protest against the proposed redevelopment of the BDA complex in Indiranagar, Bengaluru Central MP PC Mohan said: “If bars play loud music, I‘ll sit on dharna along with members at the DCP‘s office. People are upset with noise in the residential area. ”
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