Popular Shanghai bar area may face closure

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 June, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 June, 2004, 12:00am

One of Shanghai's best-known entertainment districts may be in danger of closing after noise complaints from residents, but officials are keeping quiet about the future of Maoming Road.

In its latest edition, weekly newspaper The Bund said authorities were considering closing the popular bar district and relocating it to nearby streets or even to an underground shopping centre.

An official with the Shanghai Urban Planning Bureau said yesterday the street was part of a larger protected historical district so it might be rezoned, but the local government had yet to finalise a blueprint. 'The full plan has not emerged,' she said.

Government spokeswoman Jiao Yang said she was unaware of such a plan, but said any changes would be handled according to the law. Officials of Luwan district, which manages the street, declined to comment.

The newspaper said bars and restaurants in the district could be moved to Gaolan Road or Taikang Road.

Since May 25, police have enforced a 10pm curfew for lowering the volume of music and a 2am curfew for closing, following complaints from residents about noise, media reports said.

However, there are also rumours that a rise in the number of cases involving drug use and prostitution has upset authorities, although officials declined to comment on the issue.

Amid a heavy police presence on the street, bar and restaurant owners were being warned to keep music below 50 decibels, witnesses said.

Maoming Road is popular with tourists and residents.