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Mumbai civic body rules on rooftop dining put restaurants in a spot

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Dilip C Datwani, President of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), said that a clarification was needed on the rules circulated by BMC. “ The rule says that there should not be any building 10 metres from the edge of the terrace. In Mumbai, it is very difficult to find a property like that.” Such measures, in his opinion, would have benefits only for a few restaurateurs.

He added that the association will soon submit its recommendations to the BMC.

Riyaaz Amlani, President of the National Restaurant Association of India, said, “Right now, with these rules, having a rooftop restaurant in Mumbai is costly since, we are not allowed to cook on the rooftops but only serve which means you need to have another kitchen. This is definitely costlier.”

He added that people have started applying for roof-top restaurant licences with approximately 15 applications being filled out. When contacted, Adarsh B Shetty, President of the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR), said, “ We are yet to receive some more regulations and a definite view. We will study them and then contact the BMC if there is any problem.”

Permission to operate rooftop restaurants has been in discussion for a while, with the restaurant associations pushing for regulations. The move was also supported by Shiv Sena Youth Leader Aditya Thackeray and BMC leader Poonam Mahajan in response to which the BMC on November 1 had circulated a notification giving permission to the rooftop restaurants for legally conducting business in Mumbai.

BMC’s notification

According to the notification, rooftop restaurants can only operate on terraces of commercial buildings, malls, residential hotels and lodges. The edge of the terrace should not be within 10 metres of residential buildings. The BMC also prohibited the use of open flame and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) on the terrace adding that the restaurateurs have to obtain a no-objection certificate from the Chief Fire Officer.

When contacted, the BMC said,” If restaurateurs are facing problems, they can write it down on their application form and we will examine it on a case to case basis.”

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