In the past few weeks, everyone seems to be asking one poignant question: Should Mumbai city have a nightlife? I’d say, why not? I understand that one needs an outlet for celebrations and for catharsis after a hard day, but it definitely cannot come at the cost of another resident’s safety and peace of mind.
A few years ago, a lot of pubs, bars and lounges have mushroomed all over the city, creating mayhem for residents nearby. Our streets get littered with cigarette butts, beer cans and used condoms. Drivers zip up and down the roads to capture parking spaces, often blocking our building gates and footpaths with their clients’ cars. While the cli-ents alight, cars stand in the middle of the roads for a long time, creating noisy traffic jams. This is annoying, because everyone is entitled to a good night’s sleep.
After 1.30 am, people start trickling out, inebriated, waiting for their cars or looking for a wall to relieve themselves. Bouncers try to conduct the traffic of people and cars on the roads. Do traffic police even operate at night?
Our grouse is not against the owners of the pubs and bars or with the people who patronise these places, but against the so-called lawmakers who give them permissions so randomly to conduct their business, without checking the rules that they have laid. Several times, residents try calling 100 but to no avail.
Once, at 2 am, when we had had enough of the noise, I called the senior inspector of our local police station. I was curtly asked why I was calling and at that unearthly hour, and was reminded that the police had other pressing issues to handle. Really?
When someone like Vasant Dhoble comes along and makes life a little easier for us residents, one cannot help but wish that there were more like him around who take a stand. We support him, as he is doing a good job, and it is for the law to decide whether he is right or wrong.
Some food for thought for lawmakers: Please demarcate a separate zone for entertainment so that everyone is happy — residents, lawmakers and law enforcers — and so that Mumbai can get its nightlife back with no strings attached.
- Manuela Saldhana, 48, Social worker, Bandra