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Party poopers

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Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray revives his five-year-old proposal of allowing restaurants and pubs to stay open 24 hours, says it’s a matter of citizens’ rights.

The Shiv Sena wants you to party 24×7 this New Year’s Eve. In a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray has asked to allow restaurants and pubs to remain open all night in Mumbai, Thane, Nashik, Pune, Navi Mumbai and other cities across the state. Aaditya, however, has clarified that he is only batting for legal activities in non-residential areas. Currently, the night-time deadline for restaurants and pubs is 1.30 am, with establishments allowed to remain open until 5 am on December 31.

In the letter, Aaditya has also taken a dig at Fadnavis for delaying the Sena-led BMC’s plan to allow restaurants and pubs to remain open 24×7. “A small reminder about the 2013 BMC proposal approved by the then Police Commissioner in 2015 and legislated by the state in 2017, to let non-residential areas in Mumbai and other cities remain open 24×7. The proposal for Mumbai is awaiting your approval from the home department for a few months now,” Aaditya said in his letter, reviving the five-year-old proposal ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections.

A proposal allowing such establishments to operate through the night was passed by the Shiv Sena-ruled BMC five years ago and is pending with the state government for approval since. The tiff between the two parties over Aaditya’s proposal is no secret and Sena leaders alleged that the Fadnavis led home department was deliberately delaying the proposal so that the Sena doesn’t get any credit for it.

“This move will give our state more employment opportunities and revenue from all safe and legal places. What is legal during the day can’t become illegal at night. Legal establishments in malls and mill compounds remaining open for 24 hours will be a boon for Maharashtra. We need to trust our citizens and give them more space and time to unwind after hours of work,” Aaditya said.

Restaurateur Riyaaz Amlani, who is also former president of the National Restaurant Association of India, said that despite the delay he is optimistic. “I think that there is will from the government’s side but we hope that things move faster. If there is a vibrant nightlife in the city, it will boost tourism and also the economy. We are thankful that Aaditya Thackeray is pushing for this and the CM has been very positive. However, a lot of questions about safety and regulations were raised after the Kamala Mills fire. We are all for a safe but vibrant nightlife in the city,” he said.
Party poopers

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