A fourth of spas in S Delhi have li­cence to op­er­ate

210 Shut, Most Il­le­gal Units In West & Na­jaf­garh Zones: SDMC

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - [email protected] times­group.com

New Delhi: The drive against il­le­gal spas and mas­sage par­lours in south Delhi has shown that most such es­tab­lish­ments are op­er­at­ing in Na­jaf­garh and west zones of south Delhi. The re­port given by South Delhi Mu­nic­i­pal Corporatio­n (SDMC) men­tions that out of 1,137 mas­sage par­lours, only 297 have the li­cence to op­er­ate.

“So far, 210 mas­sage par­lours have closed down. While 117 mas­sage par­lours shut down vol­un­tar­ily af­ter be­ing given a clo­sure no­tice, 93 were sealed for flout­ing the norms. An­other 22 units are be­ing sealed in Bhag­wati Gar­den of west Delhi,” said a se­nior public health of­fi­cial.

Ear­lier, Delhi Com­mis­sion for Women had raided units in Bu­rari and Ro­hini where pros­ti­tu­tion was al­legedly be­ing car­ried out in the garb of spa ac­tiv­i­ties. Sub­se­quently, DCW is­sued sum­mons to the three mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sion­ers and Delhi Po­lice.

“This is an on­go­ing process and a sur­vey is be­ing car­ried out in all the four zones. So far, 182 clo­sure noti

WHAT’S THE IS­SUE

WHAT ABOUT THE NEW RULES

ces have been is­sued to units that were found op­er­at­ing with­out a health trade li­cence. Of these, 62% were lo­cated in Na­jaf­garh and west zones,” the health of­fi­cial said.

SDMC has also ini­ti­ated le­gal pro­ceed­ings against 400 spas. The public health de­part­ment of the civic body said the an­nual fee for is­su­ing health trade li­censes for spas has been in­creased to Rs 60,000. This is the high­est among all the mu­nic­i­pal bod­ies in Delhi. “The sealed units will have to shell out a lot of money when they reap­ply for the li­cence,” said an­other of­fi­cial.

The is­sue was high­lighted when an at­tempt was made by BJP coun­cil­lors to change the rules govern­ing health trade li­cences for spas around a month ago. On September 16, while ar­gu­ing that spas were ru­in­ing the “cul­tural image” of Delhi, the coun­cil­lors pro­posed a ban on cross-gen­der mas­sage par­lours, CCTV cam­era in­stal­la­tion, fix­ing min­i­mum age and mak­ing identity card record manda­tory.

Fac­ing a back­lash, a U-turn was taken the next day by an­nounc­ing that for up­scale ho­tels “in­ter­na­tional rules” would be ap­pli­ca­ble. Health of­fi­cials said the pro­posed changes are now in “cold stor­age” as no rel­e­vant “in­ter­na­tional rules” could be found even from hotspots like Thai­land.

Re­spond­ing to DCW’s claim that 5,000 spas were op­er­at­ing in the city, an of­fi­cial said, “Phone di­rec­to­ries don’t pro­vide the real num­ber as many fa­cil­i­ties have mul­ti­ple phone num­bers.”

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