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Coming soon: Nightlife zones in South Mumbai


Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Monday instructed city authorities to set up zones where eateries, pubs, bars and entertainment hotspots can remain open throughout the night.

In a major push to nightlife culture in the commercial capital, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Monday instructed city authorities to set up zones where eateries, pubs, bars and entertainment hotspots can remain open throughout the night. The initial plan is to designate non-residential areas in South Mumbai — Veer Nariman Road, Ballard Pier and Horniman Circle — as ‘nightlife zones’. Such special entertainment zones would be replicated in other parts of the city after gauging the response to the pilot scheme, said highly placed sources in the government.

Fadnavis issued the missive during a meeting with office-bearers of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), which had been pushing the proposal. BJP’s Member of Parliament Poonam Mahajan, who has been an advocate of Mumbai’s nighlife plan, was present too.

Earlier, during the monsoon session of the state legislature, the government has passed a Bill allowing shops, malls and commercial establishments to remain open round the clock. The state is, however, yet to formulate rules for its implementation.

During the meeting Monday, Fadnavis directed government officials to expedite this process. Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta and Police Commissioner Dattatray Padsalgikar were, meanwhile, instructed to finalise the nightlife zone proposals to be run on a pilot basis. Sources said the suggestion for the South Mumbai locations came from the CM.

While the restaurateurs were pushing for the rollout of such zones across Mumbai, Fadnavis backed the idea of running pilots, after the Mumbai Police chief raised certain issues pertaining to the city’s law and order.

The CM also directed the officials to formulate a dedicated policy to encourage food trucks across Mumbai. “The food trucks would do well in business districts and tourism spots,” he said, adding that women self-help groups in Mumbai could also benefit from it.

The NRAI delegation demanded reduction in the number of permissions for setting up a hotel, to which the CM said this was an ongoing reform, asking the officials to further streamline the process.

The recent shutting down of rooftop bars was discussed too. A probe that showed these watering holes had been utilising one-day permit meant for special functions and parties to commercially serve liquor had led to the excise department cracking the whip. Backing the department’s action, sources said, Fadnavis asked the officials to consider the feasibility of framing an independent liquor permit policy for rooftop bars. Officials said the Mumbai municipality, too, was likely to take up the much-delayed proposal to permit rooftop restaurants in parts of the city soon.

Source: Indian Express

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