After East Delhi Municipal Corporation, the South Delhi civic body has implemented a new license policy for spa and massage centres under which cross-gender massage will not be allowed.
In a statement on Monday, the SDMC said, “Cross-gender massage will not be allowed at spa centres. Male and female centres will be in different sections and can remain open only between 9 am and 9 pm. In residential areas, new centres will not be allowed.”
Last month, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) had also banned cross-gender massage at spas under its jurisdiction.
According to SDMC estimates, there are about 300 spas and massage parlours in south Delhi. “There will be a mandatory provision for the production of ID cards of all customers,” it said. The policy has been approved by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, the civic body said.
The corporation said that failure to comply with any of the guidelines may entail legal action against the defaulters, including revocation of the license. The North MCD which is governed by the same framework is likely to follow suit.
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal had earlier flagged irregularities and sexual abuse at spa and massage centres, following which a task force was set up to review her report and take action on it.
Spas and massage centres are required to strictly adhere to the new guidelines of the Delhi government, which completely prohibit “any form of sexual activity in the premises” and employment of people aged below 18 years, to obtain a health trade licence.
The Delhi government, however in response to a petition challenging the recent guidelines prohibiting cross-gender massage in spas, has told the Delhi High Court that guidelines are yet to be notified and are not being enforced at the moment.