Kerala

Inspection of closed bars begins in Kerala

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High Court-ordered exercise looks into whether they conform to norms

Excise inspectors on Tuesday began scrutiny of 418 unclassified bar-attached hotels that were closed in April on the ground that they lacked basic hygiene and minimum facilities specified in the licence conditions.

The scrutiny, ordered by the Kerala High Court, were conducted on the basis of an 18-page questionnaire, the specifics of which were a secret.

Investigators said each scrutiny took more than three hours, and much of it was about whether the hotels conformed to the norms for two-star classifications as mandated by the Indian Tourism Development Corporation. They also looked at whether the hotels had licence from the Commissioner of Food Safety to cater food and beverages.

Report to court

The investigators said they would report to the court the standard of hygiene maintained by the hotels, the number of rooms available, whether the rooms had heated piped water supply, level of pest control, availability of parking space, and possession of various trade licences from the authorities concerned, including local bodies, among other criteria.

Acting on the merit of a Supreme Court order, the State Cabinet had on April 3 desisted from renewing the licences of 418 non-standard bars. The government had also appointed a committee for the purpose. Excise Department officials said their inspections would conclude on Sunday, and the High Court would be intimated of their findings on Monday. The content of the Statewide inspection report would be only for the eyes of the court.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 1:13:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/excise-inspection-of-closed-bars-begins-in-kerala/article6332578.ece

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