Massage centres and spas across the city may finally come under BMC purview with the civic body planning to amend the guidelines for issuing them licence.
The decision came after former mayor Shubha Raul and members of the civic health committee recommended amendments in the way permission is given to operate such centres. They insisted that stricter rules be framed in the licensing procedure to curb any indecent activity at these centres.
Accordingly, the BMC has set up a 5-member committee that includes the executive health officer and representatives of non-government organizations to brush up the process of approval.
Raul, in her notice of motion moved on September 15, 2012, had made several suggestions. "There is a large number of spa and massage parlours operating in the city without licence. It has also been observed that indecent activities are taking place in some of them. And that has deterred women from visiting these places as they feel unsafe. Hence, stricter norms are required," Raul had said.
There should be separate and transparent entry points for women at spas and massage parlours. It must be made compulsory for operators to procure no objection certificate from the police to acquire licence for parlours, especially for those centres where men and women work together, the former mayor had demanded.
Responding to the issues raised, civic chief Sitaram Kunte said rules and regulations for saloons/spas/massage centres had earlier been prepared based on the conditions prevalent then. However, they need to be changed to make them relevant.
"The committee will look into this, and the suggestions put forward by it will be considered before we amend rules or frame new ones," said a health department official.