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Malls, eateries can stay open 24 x 7 in Mumbai from Jan 27



Living up to its reputation as the city that never sleeps, Mumbai will now have malls, multiplexes, shops and restaurants that can stay open 24×7, without serving any alcohol.

The authorities — the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Police — have permitted such establishments across the city, which fall under “gated communities”, and non-residential areas, to stay open 24×7 from January 27, according to municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi.

The decision was taken in a meeting called by state tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray on Thursday.

The meeting was attended by the civic chief and commissioner of police Sanjay Barve.

Representatives of shopping malls, hotels and restaurants were also present at the meeting.

At least 25 malls and several other shops and restaurants across the city can stay open throughout, however, it is up to the owner’s discretion to keep them open 24×7 or not, in view of the business benefits. The owners can also decide which days they can keep their establishments open round-the-clock — several of them would prefer Friday to Sunday.

Gated communities refer to places that have CCTV surveillance, parking facilities, ensure the safety of the people approaching the place and where noise is curtailed, explained a government official.

Permission for Kamala Mills to stay open 24×7 is being reviewed as ward officers, police will find out the feasibility of malls in their areas. This will be followed by an assessment of the implementation.

Pardeshi said, “We have given permission for 24×7 functioning from January 27. Gated communities, primarily with entertainment and food plazas, have been given permissions. We have cautioned the representatives of the establishments to ensure fire-safety compliance and security. Most of the malls have said that they will keep it open on weekends if running it throughout the week is not feasible for them.”

However, another official said that even though establishments have been told that they can start from January 27, they can start to implement this at any moment from now as the government has issued a notification regarding this a year ago.

Some of the malls that have agreed for the 24×7 implementation are Atria Mall in Worli, R-City Mall in Ghatkopar, Oberoi Mall in Goregaon, Growel’s 101 in Kandivli Phoenix Market City in Kurla and High Street Phoenix in Lower Parel.

Meanwhile, those establishments that serve alcohol can serve till 1.30am at the latest, in accordance with the existing rule.

A senior civic official who was present at the meeting said, “The most important thing that Mr Thackeray wanted is generation of employment and that tourism is increased. Also, ease of facilitation of services along with ensuring security is what the government will be insisting. Almost all representatives have welcomed the move, assuring self-regulation, while knowing that flouting norms would derail the entire plan and hamper their business as well.”

Shiv Sena first mooted the concept in 2013, and has been following up on it since, with Thackeray pushing for it. In January 2018, the state government had issued a notification, amending the Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Act to allow shops, malls, restaurants that do not serve alcohol to operate all night long. However, the police department raised security concerns for Mumbai, and the issue was sent to the Home Ministry for approval.

Gurbaxish Singh, President of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), said, “We thank the tourism minister and his initiative to make Mumbai a successful tourist hub. We have also been suggested in the meeting to put stickers of ‘We are now 24×7’. Some kind of planning will have to be done to prepare the staff, security and other such elements, which will take time.”

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