Of Mumbai 24/7....

So it’s official now, Mumbai can remain open 24x7 from January 27. Malls, multiplexes, shops and restaurants can function all night with the state cabinet giving the proposal a go-ahead. However, bars and pubs are not part of this 24x7 plan. They will shut at 1.30 am, as per the existing rules of the state excise department.

Speaking with reporters after the cabinet meeting, Maharashtra Environment and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray said, “London’s night economy is worth 5 billion pounds, Mumbai has similar potential. Mumbai is India’s financial and entertainment capital, and is already a 24x7 functional city.”

He said, “There are people who work in the night shifts, and there are tourists who want to explore the city during the night. Where will these people go if they need food after 11 pm? Now, people can eat, shop or watch movies throughout the night.”

The minister made it clear that no one would be compelled to keep their establishments open in the night, and those who feel that they can do a good business even during late-night hours would be free to keep them open.

In the first phase, shops, restaurants and multiplexes in malls and mill compounds situated in non-residential areas will be allowed to remain open.

In areas such as Nariman Point, Bandra Kurla Complex, Marine Drive, food trucks will be allowed to operate in designated areas. However, these food trucks will have to comply with solid waste management, noise limits and law and order situation.

Thackeray claimed that the plan will reduce the stress the police personnel have to endure every day as they will not have to check whether shops and other establishments are shut after 1.30 am. While the BJP has opposed the decision, associations of hoteliers and builders have welcomed it.

Aaditya Thackeray had in 2015 given a similar proposal to then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Fadnavis accepted the proposal in principle, but later the issue was put on backburner after an adverse report from the home department.

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