Security measures for 24x7 Mumbai next hurdle to clear
Hindustan Times reported on Friday that commercial establishments in “gated communities” and non-residential areas across Mumbai can stay open 24x7 from January 26.Updated: Jan 18, 2020 16:11 IST
Shop, restaurant and mall owners, who plan to keep establishments open 24x7 from January 26, must inform the ward office of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) about their decision.
The civic ward officials along with the police department will conduct an assessment to decide if additional security needs to be deployed around the establishments that decide to stay open all night.
Hindustan Times reported on Friday that commercial establishments in “gated communities” and non-residential areas across Mumbai can stay open 24x7 from January 26.
The decision was taken after a meeting between state tourism and environment minister Aaditya Thackeray, who has been spearheading the project for the past few years, BMC chief Praveen Pardeshi, police commissioner Sanjay Barve and representatives of the establishments.
“We have given the option to establishments to remain open 24x7 from January 26. It will increase employment. Every individual or establishment can voluntarily decide if they want to stay open all night if it is financially viable for them,” said Thackeray.
A civic official, who did not wish to be named, said the implementation of the plan will be closely monitored and its outcome will be taken into account to decide further course of action.
As BJP criticises state government initiative for 24x7 Mumbai, tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray sought to justify the move saying a city like Mumbai needs 24x7 shops and restaurants as most people work till late and they can’t go out with friends and families since several establishments shut early.
He also dismissed the objections that liquor would be served in restaurants whole night.
“The excise rules (that limit timing serving liquor in bars) won’t be changed. Restaurants can serve food, shops can be kept open and entertainment would be available for the citizens in night as well,” he said.
Owners of eateries and malls, however, said it will take some time before they can keep their establishments open 24x7, as increasing staff and security personnel can’t happen “quickly”.
“The authorities have allowed us to start implementing from whenever we want. We will have to plan from which day we can start... A lot of aspects will have to be looked into, especially making sure that we have enough staff to serve patrons and security personnel before we decide to keep outlets opens,” said Gurbaxish Singh, president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI).
Meanwhile, the government remains firm that it won’t allow establishments in residential areas or those without proper security arrangements to stay open all night.
“Establishments in only non-residential areas such as Kala Ghoda, Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and Nariman Point will be allowed to stay open 24x7. It is a great opportunity for businesses in Mumbai to thrive. Similar plans have been implemented in cities across the world and they have helped in significantly increasing revenue,” said Thackeray.