Dine under the stars: Rooftop eateries policy gets Mumbai civic body’s nod

Restaurants need NOC from fire dept, police; cannot use gas cylinders, or disturb peace

mumbai Updated: Jan 19, 2018 09:28 IST
Sagar Pillai
Sagar Pillai
Hindustan Times
BMC,rooftop eataries policy,Mumbai
(Picture for representation)

The much-awaited rooftop policy was approved by the general body of elected representatives in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday.

The nod comes as a formal approval of the policy which was notified by civic chief Ajoy Mehta on November 1, paving the way for terrace restaurants in the city.

Under the policy, terrace restaurants can be run on the roof of hotels, eating houses and malls in Mumbai. However, the permission will be given subject to certain conditions. The kitchen of the terrace restaurant should be operated with non-flamable appliances like microwave ovens or induction stoves. The restaurants shouldn’t disturb the surrounding neighbourhood.

Moreover, the policy restricts using areas of pocket terraces which are designated as refuge areas. Also, the hoteliers have to get compulsory no-objection certificates (NOC) from the city’s chief fire officer (CFO). The policy sidesteps the issue of allowing restaurants to serve liquor, as it only mentions serving of food.

Significantly, the policy has been cleared days after to two restaurants caught fire at Kamala Mills that killed 14 persons. One of the two restaurants was located on the terrace. Civic officials said the policy will lead to regulation of such restaurants, as several restaurants are run illegally by exploiting loopholes in the rules. As the policy was cleared in the general body meeting on Thursday, councillors alleged that it was sanctioned by the ruling party Shiv Sena without calling for suggestions and objections from them.

A senior civic official pointed out that the elected body clearing the policy was a formality, as under the provisions of the Mumbai Municipal Act, it would have got approved after the 90-day period following the notification. “The civic chief issued a circular allowing the rooftop policy after the 90 day period was over, which states that he no longer needed approval from the general body.”

Ravi Raja, leader of opposition, said, “How can they pass a policy without discussing it with the councillors? The policy was already rejected in the improvement committee last year. After what happened in Kamala Mills, we cant take chances with the policy.”

First Published: Jan 19, 2018 09:28 IST