Wednesday November 22, 2017

SDMC makes mandatory for South Delhi Restaurateurs to open their Toilets for General Public

Representational Image, credits: Pixabay

New Delhi, March 24, 2017: Last week on March 14, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) meted out a decision which implies all the restaurants and hotels falling under the jurisdiction area of SDMC, to open their toilets to the general public at a maximum charge of Rs. 5 from 1st April onwards.

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The corporation asserts that the decision has been taken to pay heed towards the unavailability of enough toilets in the market areas of South Delhi. It affects the people with the discomfort to answer their urge of nature’s call. The order was taken in the purview of inconvenience faced especially by women in the market areas.

From the 1st of April, it will be involuntary for the hotels and restaurants coming under the jurisdiction of SDMC.

Moving a step further, SDMC has stated that the condition of opening toilets for the general public will be added as a clause in the health trade license which SDMC issues and is required by required to run eateries and hospitality based businesses.

In a statement released by SDMC, it claims that the decision has been taken with consultations from many restaurants. However, their claim is dismissed by restaurants complaining that they were neither consulted nor informed prior to the decision.

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The SDMC’s order taken in a purview to ease the difficulties of finding toiletries in the market places, especially for women, has not got down very well with many of the restaurant owners, while few food chain restaurants wholeheartedly welcomed the step.

Thomas Fenn, co-founder of Mahabelly restaurant in Saket spoke of the owner’s right to admission. Speaking to Indian Express, he said that the hospitality scenario involves the right to admission, which should remain exclusively with the restaurant.

While talking to NewsGram, a manager of a posh hotel in Kailash colony said, “this is not a rational decision. It’s straight violation of the right to admission. Entry to any individual for using our toilets is up to our discretion. Although, we never deny anyone to use our restroom as it’s nature’s call but making it a mandate poses a threat to our security. How will we tackle a group of drunkards or boorish people who may misbehave with our customers”.

The disagreement of adhering the SDMC’s verdict lies largely with the high end and 5-star hoteliers. In a contrast, many food chain restaurants are gladly supportive of the decision as they see it as the next move of Swaccha Bharat Abhiyaan.

“We generally allow anyone who wishes to use our restroom so we don’t have any problem if it becomes mandatory for all. We are in the business of hospitality and appreciate this move. It will help the Prime Minister’s vision of Swaccha Bharat Abhiyan to get more robust,” an employee at Cafe Coffee Day in Amar colony said while talking to NewsGram.

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Earlier, the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) was dismissive towards the decision terming it as populist and a touted move by SDMC in a wake of upcoming elections. But on Wednesday, bringing down its rancor, NRAI agreed to comply the order with a condition that it will only let women use the toilets.

“On a trial basis for the period of four weeks for women, only with the discretion of individual restaurateurs covering the safety and security aspects,” Riyaz Almani, President of NRAI said while speaking to media.

Prior to their current take, NRAI heavily criticized the move of SDMC and alleged the corporation for hiding their failure to provide public sanitation facilities as per the public requirement.

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The data published by mentioned below corroborates the allegations made by NRAI over the corporation.

  • There are total 580 urinals in the administration of SDMC. Out of which, 480 are toilets and only 140 are accessible to women
  • The restaurants and hotels coming under SDMC will provide more than 3500 toilets to the general public
  • Only 40 toilets were constructed by SDMC in the year 2016-17
  • While it’s proposed that 200 more toilets would be constructed in 2017-18

The move has exulted the public, especially women. Sanitation is the basic problem that inhibits women to use the public washrooms; the lack of clean toilet facilities mostly affect them.

Akashi Saxena, who works at a firm near Greater Kailash 1 M Block, said this will help women immensely. “Getting a public toilet can be a big headache at times, and even if you find it, sanitation is a big issue,” she said to Hindustan Times.

While most men and children resort to public urination when they cannot find public toilets, women, and persons with medical conditions land in a terrible fix.

The mandate of SDMC will ease the life of many people outside of the premises of their homes but the contradictions resonating the ordeal from the end of restaurateurs should also be addressed.

Riyaaz Amlani, president of the National Restaurant Association of India, pointed out that providing public toilets was the job of civic bodies and the government.

“That does not mean that a civic body can force us to commit to such a service,” said Amlani, who runs several popular restaurants. “Most restaurants usually do not stop anyone looking out for a washroom or a glass of water. But that is supposed to be out of humanity and not under any guidelines.”

Amlani added: “The other question is of security – we are responsible for the safety and security of our clients. What if we lose our power to exercise control over the admission of people in the property and later something untoward happens? Who shall be accountable for that? So far, we have only read the notification and are trying to arrange a meeting with the municipal body to discuss the matter at the earliest.”

Despite the fact that both the parties have valid points on the argument of following the order, it can’t be subsided that being the richest of the three corporations, the SDMC has failed to comply with its duties in administering sanitation facilities to the public. Also, arrival of the current ordeal at the time of forthcoming municipal elections evokes the suspicion over genuinity of the move.

-reported by Ashish Srivastava of NewsGram Twitter @PhulRetard

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Google soon be adding Restaurant ‘Wait’ times feature on Search and Maps

Google will soon add wait times of the restaurants in Search and maps.

Google will add Restaurant wait times on Search and Maps
Google will add Restaurant wait times on Search and Maps. Pixabay
  • Google is adding a new feature in Search and Maps.
  • It will show the waiting times for any restaurant.

Now it will much easier to find a place in your favorite restaurant with Google Map’s new feature

Tired of long queues at restaurants? Relax as Google is soon rolling out wait times on Search — followed by Maps — that will show you the estimated wait-time at your favorite eating hangouts. 

To see wait times for nearly a million sit-down restaurants around the world that allow walk-ins, just search for the restaurant, open the business listing, and scroll down to the “Popular Times” section.

“There, you’ll see the estimated wait time at that very moment. And by tapping on any of the hour bars, you’ll see the estimated wait for that time period,” Google said in a blog post. You can even scroll left and right to see a summary of each day’s wait times below the hour bars, so you can plan ahead to beat the crowds. Wait-time estimates are based on anonymised historical data, similar to how Google computes the previously launched ‘Popular Times’ and ‘Visit Duration’ features.

In the case of restaurants, Google will now include a pop-up box that appears when you click on a time frame in the popular times’ chart. The box shows the live or historical data labelled as “busy”, “usually busy”, “usually not busy”, etc., along with the wait time, TechCrunch reported.( IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Offbeat Blend of Food and Ambiance: Know About These Weirdest Restaurants Here!

Restaurants in the world. Pixabay

Sep 05, 2017: Restaurants these days are breaking away with archaic customs. We all love to eat offbeat treats in wondrous ambiances. Call it an anniversary, birthday party, promotion party, or engagement – everyone loves to go to strange restaurants where there is a combination of fantastic food and ambiance.

You might have visited myriads of restaurants but under mentioned are the exquisite places you would never want to miss out. These weirdest restaurants around the globe are known for their unique atmosphere which will impel you to feel as if you are in another century.

1-  Dinner In The Sky 

Dinner in the Sky 2012 Vilnius, Lithuania. Wikimedia

Dinner in the Sky is a Belgian based quirky restaurant which uses a crane to raise its coffee shops, table and staff 150 feet into the air. Forbes magazine named it one of the world’s ten most bizarre restaurants. It has portable administrations accessible in 15 countries and has operations in different urban communities including Paris and Las Vegas.

2 – Modern Toilet:

Two persons eating at bathroom themed Modern Toliet in Taipei, Taiwan. Wikimedia

Modern Toilet Restaurant is a one of a kind bathroom themed eatery chain, situated in Taiwan, with a few branches all through Asia. Everything you see here in the three-story eatery is all based on the bathroom items. The seats are non-working toilets; beverages are served in miniature urinals and dishes on plastic toilet bowls.

4 – Ithaa Undersea Restaurant 

Inside Ithaa restaurant. Wikimedia

This 15 feet below the sea level restaurant, Ithaa, means mother of pearl in Dhivehi is located at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island in Alif Dhaal Atoll in the Republic of Maldives. It has space for 14 members who can enjoy gratifying food while savoring the great maritime.

4– O.NOIR 

O.NOIR Restaurant –Toronto, Canada. Facebook

O.NOIR is Canada’s “Dine in the Dark” restaurant that has conveyed an exceptional culinary experience to visitors from close and far. O.NOIR Toronto welcomes visitors to encounter beverages, food, and discussion – without the use of sight.  This restaurant prohibits cell phones, torches, luminescent watches from taking inside. The food is served in an unlit dining room, and the session continues for two hours.

Also Read: These 4 Lesser Known Resorts in India are Perfect for a Vacation! 

5 – Safe House 

Safe House –Milwaukee, USA. Facebook

This restaurant has spy based theme on CIA definition. Another peculiar thing about the place is that it requires a password to enter.

6 – De Kas

De Kas– Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Facebook

This stunning restaurant with fresh food straight from the garden is served here. Veggies and fruits are picked only at the time of the order.

7 – The Bubble Room 

The Bubble Room – Captiva Island, Florida. Facebook

Constructed in 1979 with splendid pastel hues, this eatery highlights toys of 1930’s and a considerable volume of old motion pictures and scenes. Bubble Scouts (servers) move around in caps and styles.

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