Civic body cracks whip harder on shopowners | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Civic body cracks whip harder on shopowners

While on the one hand the state government has committed itself to amending the Act which prohibits shops from staying open after 8.30pm, on the other, the civic body is going hammer and tongs after those found violating the rule.

mumbai Updated: Sep 28, 2011 01:56 IST
Bhavika Jain

While on the one hand the state government has committed itself to amending the Act which prohibits shops from staying open after 8.30pm, on the other, the civic body is going hammer and tongs after those found violating the rule.

According to the Bombay Shops and Establishments Act, 1948, shops should down shutters by 8.30pm and have to stay closed on a designated day depending on where they are located.

The state government, ostensibly to keep pace with the changing times, has decided to amend the 63-year-old rule and extend the deadline to 10pm, but the Bill could not be tabled in the rocky monsoon session.

Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has intensified its drive against shops who function after the deadline and do no stay shut on designated days — it has prosecuted 16,069 shop owners in the past five months alone for violating these norms; the figure was 11,993 for all of last year.

On Monday, a mass drive was undertaken in Andheri (East) and over 40 prosecution cases were filed against shops that were open despite being required to stay closed on the day. “The drive has been intensified after we have received a lot of complaints about violations,” said Rajendra Bhosale, deputy municipal commissioner (specials). There are more than 5.3 lakh establishments in the city of which 2.9 lakh are shops.

Officials from the shop and establishment department, however, agree that the deadline should be extended given the changing lifestyles. “These days, people are getting back from work at 8.30pm, so how can the shops be shut at such an early hour,” said Vidya Sharma, a consultant with a private firm.