The stringent rules, likely to be brought in force from November, will also be applicable to existing bar licensees in the State.
The government’s move to revamp the liquor bars came on the recommendation of the Food Safety Department and its general observation that the bars were ill-maintained.
Most complaints stated that the bars attached to Tasmac shops were ‘too small’ and unhygienic. In addition, the department also said the food served was often below par and never adhered to the standards set by it. In addition, it was found that most the bars had only make-shift tables but without any chairs, forcing consumers had to stand and have a drink. To top it all, most bars lacked the licence issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority.
A senior official from the Excise Department said a separate team would be formed to inspect these bars periodically to ensure that the rules were being followed. “All the illegal bars operating near Tasmac shops will also be closed immediately,” he said. He said as per the fresh guidelines, the authorities would ensure that there was enough light and space. The bars would also mandatorily provide the requisite number of tables and chairs.
“In addition, there should be fans and proper ventilation, as consumers should not feel congested,” he said, adding, “it is also planned to set up a complaint cell so that consumers could register their grievances.”
The official said the department was mulling a directive to the bars to set up reverse osmosis plants to give good drinking water to consumers. Bio-toilets would be mandated if a bar had no toilets, he added.
“The new rule will also ensure that beer is served cold to the customers, with steps taken to provide latest refrigerators to all Tasmac shops,” he said. “A tender has already been floated and the selected company will install it by next month,” the official said.
The official said bars would be asked not to serve food prepared outside to customers. “Everything has to be prepared in-house and the rates should be nominal,” he added.
For a nice high
- Total Tasmac shops: 3,866
- Bar attached: 1,456
- Sells 250 brands of foreign spirits, beer and wine
- Complaint box regarding bar maintenance
- Tables and chairs compulsory
- Electric fans with adequate ventilation
- RO drinking water facility
- Compulsory installation of refrigerators
- No outside food