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24×7 shops in two south Mumbai zones by year-end


Before the end of 2017, shops and establishments will likely be allowed to stay open 24×7 in at least two areas of the city: Nariman Point and Kala Ghoda.
CM Devendra Fadnavis told TOI on Tuesday the government may roll out the scheme before the year-end.The labour and police department are working out the modalities. “Initially , it will be allowed in a few select areas,” he said.
Sources said with the state staring at rise in unemployment, the Maharashtra government is keen to throw open shops and establishments 24×7 in order to generate jobs. “With people wor king in three shifts, every unit will double the number of jobs available,” said a senior bureaucrat. The Make In India and Make In Maharashtra initiatives have attracted capital-intensive investments but may not create many jobs, sources said.
Mumbai police have suggested a pilot project be started first at Nariman Point and Kala Ghoda to understand the move’s implications on law and order and changes in policing that may be required, sources said.Mumbai has around 8,000 bars and restaurants, with nearly 2,000 in high-profile commercial areas of Nariman Point, Parel, BandraKurla Complex, Andheri, Malad etc. In August, during the monsoon session, the state legislature passed the Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill enabling owners of shops, hotels, theatres and multiplexes to keep their establishments open round the clock, with an easier process to get permissions and licences. This will mean malls, multiplexes, restaurants and even small shops can be kept open till late in the night, especially on weekends. But the establishments will require police permission.
The home department has, however, not been keen.”Manpower is limited and it will be difficult to police the streets all night. Even now, Friday onwards there are huge crowds at Marine Drive, Shivaji Park, Juhu Chowpatty. It is difficult to persuade people to go home. If bars and restaurants are open all night we are apprehensive of a law and order situation,” sources said. Once the policy works in commercial areas, it would soon lead to demands for it to be implemented in residential areas, police feel. “In commercial areas there aren’t as many footfalls after office hours. But in residential areas those living in buildings with bars and restaurants on the ground floor may be disturbed,” sources added.
Niranjan Shetty , chairman, Association of Hotels and Restaurants, said they have asked the government to carry out the pilot project around railway stations such as Mumbai Central, Dadar and Borivli. “As there are people here all the time, running a pilot here would give a better understanding of law and order,” he said.

Source: Times of India

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