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Cheers at last


The nightlife of the city will soon change for the better. KRMKA DUA spoke on a jolly good move by the government that still has few challenges for implementation

People can no more crib about the dull nightlife of Delhi. They can enjoy their late night nosh at restaurants, party all night in a club of their choice and watch movies throughout the night in cinema halls. Restaurants’ will no longer shut early at night and malls at midnight. Isn’t it a dream that there are no restrictions on shopping and you can shop your heart out round the clock This dream can soon come true with a recent bill passed by cabinet that allows malls, shops and movie theatres operate 24×7 throughout the year. It will also permit women employees to work during the night-shifts with mandatory transportation and secure workplace environment for them. The model bill also has pro-vision for five paid holidays for festivals besides national holidays.

Pushpa Bector, Executive Vice President and Head, DLF, Mall of India said, “It will provide a much-needed boost to the retail sector and create a level playing field for offline and online players. From a mall developer’s perspective, it’s a positive sign for us as it provides us with a longer window of doing business and serving our customers. We will engage the brands operational at DLF Mall of India to work out the logistics on how we can leverage this move:’ She also said that they will take required safety measures for the security of the customers before they announce the date of implementation.

The edge e-commerce sites have over malls is that the customer can shop any-time of the day, including odd hours. Customers can now do the same at malls. 1″One of the factors leading to the popularity of online shopping is the feasibility to shop anytime. With this bill, now, even brick and mortar will get that level-playing field. Retailers are paying rent for 24 hours so it is in their interest that they have longer hours of trading”, said Yog Raj Arora, director, Select Citywalk, Delhi. The mall currently shuts at 11 pm, barring some restaurants that are open until 12:30a.m and multiplex that operates till 2:30a.m. But if this law gets implemented in Delhi, they can extend the shopping hours until 12:30a.m. or even 2 o’clock in the first stage, on a certain day for experimental basis.

Also one can end a night of wild par-tying with a nice comfort meal at 2am. Riyaaz Amlani, president, NRAI said, “This is extremely wonderful news and a victory for the NRAI. We have been lobbying hard for the past many years for the freedom of operational timings in restaurants. We are delighted as this will go a long way in boosting the economy and employment in India. We are hopeful that the state and local authorities would cooperate and adopt this model

Umang Tewari, owner at Cafe OMG, said, “It is definitely good news, we will be getting 24 hour licenses now But a lot depends on how the policy will be implemented. It will be an expensive affair as it will lead to employing more people:’ The increased operational hours means increased costs, increased staff etc. Manpower would be a challenge. Sustaining the same quality in day and night is another challenge. He feels that though he would be getting the license to open restaurants for 24 hours. It would take time for the people to adapt to it. “I hope and feel this policy will be successful only if the number of people visiting the Restaurant premises at night should be at least 40-45% of the number they visit during the day hours!!”

In a rat race to earn bread and butter, we can’t enjoy leisure hours as per our own whims and fancies. Dinaz Madhukar, vice president and mall head, DLF Promenade, said, “It has given individual freedom to all of us. We don’t have to think at what time we should go for watching movies or eating out or shopping. Even if there are some restrictions on serving liquors, then also youngsters can catch up with their friends over coffee. I believe that most of the outlets will not follow it every day, rather they will prefer to do it on weekends. It will increase the costing and more manpower will be required to do it on a daily basis. But overall it will have a good impact:’ Abhishek Bansal, Executive Director, Pacific Mall, pointed out: It will help in overall sales as malls will have more hours in hand to operate. It’s a win-win situation for both retailers and customers as people will now have more avenues to go out including retail outlets and restaurants in malls.”

This decision can only be implement-ed if there are proper policies build around to carry this through. Varun Puri the owner, Imly, said, “Around 70 percent of Delhi works from 8am to 6pm. It will be good for the 30percent who work with International agencies, according to US / UK time patterns.” He added, If we have to open our restaurant for more 10 hours, this means new menus, more staff, and more working hours.” Restaurants can recreate and curate special promotions for customers late night to give them a reason to visit them. Also, it will be successful only if Delhi lays down strict codes of security for women, more cops on duties, more cabs to ensure movement et al. This bill will have a major impact on the nightlife as now there will be no more last calls or need to wrap up parties early. Party places will see a major increase in footfall and it’s a cause of celebration for booze lovers. Akshay Anand, owner at the Hotmess Kitchen & Bar is overjoyed to see this development.” It will be a clever move to attract tourism since Government will also be giving Multi entry visa for tourists now.Delhi will have a chance to graduate to one of the favourite hotspots of the world. “Finally I see some good happening to Delhi’s Nightlife. I am sure that the State authorities would also extend their support now Normally we struggle to operate past 12 pm. We see many customers heartbroken when they have to leave our restaurant premises at midnight. More than impacting the business, it marks the development of the country”, rejoiced Priyank Sukhija, owner, Lord of the Drinks. Normally people leave the restaurants and drink while driving. Now if they have the opportunity of drinking till late hours in restaurants only, the risk of road accidents (in case of drunk driving) will be less. However the police and restaurant authorities will have to work as a team, ensuring the safety of the guests. “The decision taken by the government is indeed a positive one. If the marketplace runs 24×7, the safety will surely improve with the constant inflow and outflow of people. Management will have to act responsibly and ensure safety:’ said Arjun Sagar Gupta, Owner, The Piano Man. It also comes with its own set of challenges as drunk driving and rowdiness may increase due to easy availability of liquor. The government and restaurant owners should aid work together proactively to provide security and transportation facilities to people. Dohit Duggal, Cinema Manager, PVR Naraina said, “If the government is looking for implementation to open all service industry firms (Cinema, Restaurants etc.) this would surely impact on revenue. But the main concern is about security and local travel of employees who are working in these firms. Are these basic requirements fulfilled by government as well? Also, do, the government is thinking about change in the wages of these employees who will do work at night as well. Is the government looking for their beneficiary?” According to a survey conducted by a popular website, cities like Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Ibiza, New York and Las Vegas have the best nightlife. Among which Berlin is a clear winner. A city that never sleeps and has the best clubs in the world. There are popular clubs like water-gate(with its famous waterfloor),a maze like multi level renate, tresor and golden gate in Berlin. They have facility of late night trans-port and an active club commission that guides the nightlife industry working closely with the local government and other community stakeholders. There is no closing hour of clubs and many shops are open 24 hours. There’s a vibrant fastfood culture in the city. So,now we know Delhi has a long way to go when it comes to happening nightlife and compete with global cities.



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