Police want to axe Chandigarh’s ‘Night Food Street’ hours

June 15th, 2009 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, June 15 (IANS) Police in Chandigarh have asked the city municipal corporation to close down the Night Food Street, open from 7 p.m to 7 a.m., by 11 p.m every night, following reports of several incidents of violence and molestation in the last few months.
“We have written a letter to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, proposing them to close the Night Food Street early or to change the timings to avoid late night brawls and other untoward happenings,” Senior Superintendent of Police S.S. Srivastava told IANS.

“We have also recommended they deploy private security guards and to install CCTV cameras at all the sensitive places there to keep an eye on anti-social elements,” he said, adding the police had only suggested these measures to the civic agency and it was now up to it to act upon these.

A senior police official of Chandigarh told IANS: “In the last six months we have registered a number of cases of brawls and molestation involving college students who stay here in hostels or in paying guest accommodations. They are mostly drunk and create problems for families and girls coming here.”

However, the civic officials are quite unhappy with the Chandigarh police’s stand.

Chandigarh Mayor Kamlesh Banari Das said: “We are not going to change the timings of the food street in any circumstance. Why should we employ private security guards if there is enough police force in the city?”

“Here, police are simply trying to run away from their duty and to hide their failures. Such irresponsible things can certainly send a wave of scare and insecurity among the Chandigarh residents,” Das told IANS.

The food street, which is right next to the Panjab University and the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research here, is open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. It was opened December 2008.

The eight kiosks offer an assortment of cuisine at very affordable prices, with tables and chairs lined up right outside the shops.

The kiosk owners do a brisk business here and enthused with this response, the municipal corporation has decided to open four more late night dining areas in different parts of the city in the coming months.

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