Panchkula: Following ban orders by district administration notwithstanding, hookah bars continue to thrive in Panchkula with impunity. Following complaints of several hookah bars being operational several raids were conducted.
Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) raided few of the hookah bars on December 10, 2016 and had also given notices to them. HUDA team led by then Estate Officer Virat raided Cheeky Monkey hookah bar, Sector 8, Rock House in Sector 8, Gerrari bar and club, Sector 11 and Cabbooze Kafé, Sector 5. The raid was conducted after the survey wing of department reviewed all the hookah bars in the city which are set up at commercial sites that falls under HUDA. Meanwhile the authorities again shot a final notice to hookah bar owners on January 10, and allotted a time period of 30 days to close the place or else HUDA will resume the property, but to no avail. However now, these four hookah bars in the city are said to grill under authorities’ strict hand and HUDA will now redeem the properties, claims officials.
It was learnt that these hookah bars were operational in basements and as per the HUDA guidelines, only storage can be done in basement sites. Meanwhile a survey report of hotels operational along with basements is also being processed by the department. HUDA Estate Officer, Jagdeep Dhanda said, ‘’a survey of all the commercial sites in city has been done in which hookah bars are also included. Two notices had been shot to the owners of these hookah bars and now strict action will be taken and properties will be resumed after further investigation by survey wing.’’
Also Residents’ Welfare Association had also written a letter to Deputy Commissioner last year seeking serious steps to close all the hookah bars.
Rakesh Agagrwal, president RWA, Sector 12 in his letter mentione, ‘’Hookah bars in Panchkula should be closed as they are not good for the young generation and instead of acting to provide any entertainment, these places are possibly for wrong activities.’’ ‘’Administration must seriously look into our request that these hookah bars are not serving any purpose for which administration have issued licenses’’, said Aggarwal.
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