After nearly three decades - Mumbai - the city that never sleeps, will regain its freedom to remain awake and busy with commercial establishments allowed to function 24x7. The Uddhav Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra has lifted the time restriction applicable on Mumbai's malls, eateries, shops and multiplexes from January 27. After the decision, Mumbai malls, multiplexes and eateries can remain open 24X7.
Maharashtra Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray on Wednesday said that shops, malls and eateries in the non-residential areas of Mumbai will have the option of remaining open 24x7 from January 27, although it will not be made compulsory.
Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray: Proposal of Mumbai 24x7 has been approved by Cabinet today. From 27th January malls, multiplexes,shops&eateries in non-residential areas like Bandra Kurla Complex&Nariman Point will remain open 24x7. However, we won't impose this on anyone. pic.twitter.com/Hw6QRJbzWb— ANI (@ANI) January 22, 2020
"Proposal of Mumbai 24x7 has been approved by Cabinet today. From 27th January malls, multiplexes,shops&eateries in non-residential areas like Bandra Kurla Complex&Nariman Point will remain open 24x7. However, we won't impose this on anyone," Aaditya Thackeray said.
"The decision is likely to boost jobs and boost the economy," Aaditya Thackeray said while announcing the decision.
Giving examples of nightlife in London, Thackeray said Mumbai, too, should not lag behind in providing similar facilities to people at night as the metropolis functions 24x7.
"London's night-time economy is 5 billion pounds," Aaditya Thackeray said while drawing parallels.
Aaditya said keeping shops, malls and eateries open in the night was not mandatory. "Only those who feel they can do good business can keep their establishments open throughout the night." In the first phase, shops, eateries and theatres in malls and mill compounds situated in non-residential areas will be allowed to remain open.
"In the Bandra-Kurla Complex and Nariman Point near NCPA, a lane will be opened for food trucks. Food inspectors will keep a watch on them. If rules on solid waste management, decibel limits and law and order are violated, there is a provision of a lifetime ban," the Shiv Sena leader said.
Pubs and bars will close at 1.30 am
He said the police force will not be under stress because after 1.30 am, their job till now was to check if shops and establishments were shut down.
"But, now they will be able to focus on law and order only," said Aaditya Thackeray.
He also said that while taking the decision, Excise rules have not been touched and pubs and bars will close as usual at 1.30am.
"People can eat food, shop and watch movies even during the night," he said. He said Mumbai is a "24x7 functional city". "There are people who work in night shifts. There are tourists, too, in transit. Where do they go if they are hungry after 10 pm?" he asked.
Thackeray also said there are provisions for security and CCTVs in malls and mill compounds and they have all the licenses. If these establishments need additional police security, they will have to pay for it, he added. Asked about criticism from the BJP over this move, the minister said the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government was working to fulfil people's aspirations.
"The BJP is against the youth, seeing the way they are handling students," he said, referring to the recent violence in Delhi's JNU and Jamia Millia Islamia.