Mumbai: The Uddhav Thackeray Cabinet on Wednesday decided to let malls and eateries stay open through the night in Mumbai, a move that will begin from January 27 with shops in select non-residential areas in the first phase.
The exemption, however, would not apply to the eateries that serve liquor such as pubs, bars and liquor shops. The bars and permit rooms will have to follow the 1.30 am deadeline, tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray said after the state cabinet cleared his proposal.
“The proposal, first mooted in 2013, has now been given a nod by the cabinet,” Thackeray told reporters. But it hadn’t been acted upon by the Devendra Fadnavis government owing to what Aaditya Thackeray described as a “credit war”.
Thackeray stressed that Wednesday’s cabinet decision did not imply that people had to keep shops open the entire night. It is optional, the minister said.
“London’s nightlife economy is 5 billion pounds and we expect similar growth in Mumbai. We have 5 lakh youths employed in the service sector in Mumbai. This proposal may help the number of jobs to double to 10 lakh,” Thackeray explained.
In the first phase, the government has rolled out the 24×7 concession for gated communities such as Bandra Kurla Complex and Nariman Point. One lane each at Nariman Point and BKC have been identified to allow food trucks to do business during the night.
Thackeray said the move will give a fillip to tourism, generate jobs and boost the economy.
At the same time, it would not burden the police as establishments in gated communities have their own security arrangements.
Home minister Anil Deshmukh said Mumbai 24 hours proposal had been okayed because for now, it was limited to specified areas.
The government also warned establishments not to violate the law during the extended working hours, arguing that these would lead to permanent cancellation of licences.