A fourth of spas in S Delhi have licence to operate
210 Shut, Most Illegal Units In West & Najafgarh Zones: SDMC
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.”