Punnaiah Colony dwellers protest Swarna Sai Bar owner’s attempt to shift business to the locality

Residents of Punnaiah Colony in Satyanarayanapuram are fighting a pitched battle against the shifting of a liquor outlet from Prakash Nagar to their locality.

Earlier, the bar (Swarna Sai Bar) owners had attempted thrice to shift the business to this bustling centre on BRTS Road but had to beat a hasty retreat following stiff resistance from residents. In fact, protesting the proposed shifting of the bar, the residents, led by leaders of major political parties, had staged a sit-in. Thanks to public pressure, the bar owners have shelved their plans for now but may come back if the protest loses steam, it is learnt.

“It will be a fight to the finish. Under no circumstances, we will allow the bar to operate from here. To the right side of the proposed outlet are two temples, constructed way back in 1970. Towards the left is a nursing college, which was established in 1988. A hostel for nursing students is right behind the proposed outlet, and girls have to take this road to reach college,” says S. Madan Mohan, chief medical officer of Rotary Blood Bank and resident of Punnaiah Colony. He says the centre is also a pick-up point for school and college students.

Besides alerting the District Collector, Municipal Commissioner and the Excise Commissioner, the residents have launched a signature campaign to seek the Governor’s intervention.

“We have been constantly fighting against the liquor outlet in Satyanarayanapuram, the only area that is free of the menace in the city. The nearby Bhanu Nagar is a slum area, and liquor within reach will make slum-dwellers addicted to the vice. If need be, we will launch an indefinite fast,” says former Corporator and YSRC leader Y. Srinivas.

The Excise Department, meanwhile, justifies the move, saying the bar it is well within the stipulated norms. Y. Bheem Reddy, Assistant Superintendent, Excise Department, says unless it is a predominantly residential colony, bars can be allowed in commercial areas. Remind him of the temple at a stone’s throw away, and he says the structure does not come under the purview of the Endowments Department. Mr. Reddy, however, agrees that the location is a semi-commercial area.

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