Gurugram’s MG Road Residents write to CM: Stop pub permits here, allow only resto-bars in malls


On a rainy afternoon last Saturday, a group of men and a woman representing housing societies on and off MG Road met in one of the malls. They were joined by a few owners of retail outlets in malls on the road.

Police’s recent crackdown on two bars had brought to them some hope of a possible end to sex trade rackets flourishing along the Mall Mile. But after a brief lull since the early July raids, the business appeared to be picking up again, some of the meeting’s participants observed.

The discussion also veered towards how none of the promises made to Gurugram by the police — of a clean and safe Mall Mile matching international standards — had materialized.

“Every time a new police chief arrives, he issues statements expressing his desire to change things. But the enthusiasm dies soon,” said a resident, requesting anonymity.

Deepak Kapoor, RWA president of Beverly Park, said, “A minister once proposed turning MG Road into something like Orchard Road in Singapore, but that’s a far-fetched dream. Meanwhile, the problem is getting out of control. What earlier used to be covert, is now blatant. It won’t be long before other crimes start here.”

For residents, sex trade on MG Road is not just a law and order problem, but something that disrupts their lives. A resident of Essel Towers described how, when he visited a mall for a late-night film show, was solicited by a sex worker in front of his son.

“I swore never to go back to that mall for a movie,” he said, requesting anonymity.

Women living in the area said stepping out of homes has become impossible in after-hours. “The atmosphere is uncomfortable, especially if you are with the family. We can see people exchanging money from our balconies,” said Vibha Anand, a resident of The Heritage City.

Retailers in MGF Metropolitan mall are worried as their businesses have taken a direct hit.

“Our businesses are down, as patrons don’t like coming here anymore in evenings,” said one of them.

Police commissioner K K Rao recently issued an order, making club owners responsible for any illegal activities that happen within their premises.

“Threatened by the order, clubs have for now restricted entry of sex workers,” said another retailer.

Seeing this as an opportunity, RWAs have also written to chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, suggesting solutions. “We suggested three points. One is to continue the sealing of errant nightclubs. Second is to only allow resto-bars in malls, and stop issuing licenses to pubs. Third, we’ve shown this won’t cause any revenue loss to the exchequer as revenue from the increased footfall would offset the lost excise revenue,” said Umesh Gupta, who heads the DLF 2 RWA.

The Mall Mile is also affected by rampant encroachment, with service lanes almost always choked. “Roads are jammed any time of the day. Cops and civic agencies try to pass responsibility for removing encroachments on each other,” said Rajiv Sinha, RWA member, Essel Towers.

Service lanes are not just occupied by illegally parked cabs and autos, but also vendors. Even the main road is mostly choked, making it difficult for residents to exit. “We lost a society member because the ambulance couldn’t enter as the service lane was choked,” said Nandini Anand, another resident of The Heritage City.


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