Mumbai: The demand for hubs for nightlife gets new push after 5 hours of nodding for new year ’ s eve
MUMBAI: With new year’s eve celebrations in Mumbai allowed till
early morning in the past three years having gone off without a
hitch, the campaign for nighlife hubs in the city has gathered
fresh momentum. While hoteliers have advocated once again the
creation of overnight enterntainment zones, Shiv Sena leader
Aaditya Thackeray has urged chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to clear
legal obstacles in keeping bars, pubs and restaurants open 24x7 in
the city’s non-residential areas.
In a letter sent to the CM recently, Aaditya stated, “I take (the) opportunity to remind you of the proposal of the BMC, first passed in 2013, then approved by the then commissioner of police in 2015, and now legislated by the state in 2017 for shops, to let non-residential areas in Mumbai and other cities be open 24X7. The proposal is awaiting your approval from the home department for a few months now and is foolproof.”
The state government had in December 2018 allowed liquor joints to stay open till 5am on new year’s eve, a move that met with success without any law and order problems cropping up. The state had in 2015 given in-principal approval to the idea after the BMC gave its nod for it in 2014. The following year, the Bombay high court restrained the state from implementing the proposed move until the government looked into the safety of women, and the state responded by telling the court it was yet to take a decision in the matter. Later, in 2017, the state allowed shops and retailers to stay open 24x7 but bars, pubs and restaurants were kept out of the purview of the decision.
“The government has to extend the same freedom to us. The industry has always cooperated and is committed to ensuring safety and security of citizens in the night,” AHAR member Sukesh Shetty said.
Hotel associations such as AHAR, the Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Associations of India (FHRAI) and Hotels and Restaurants Association Western India (HRAWI) had earlier recommended 18 non-residential pockets in Mumbai as 24x7 hubs. “But no formal proposal was drafted by the government,”Pradeep Shetty of HRAWI said. “In the absence of a framework or any experiment in any area, the legislation has been delayed. It should be cleared now,” AHAR president Santosh Shetty noted. Aaditya stated in his letter, “What is legal during the day cannot be illegal at night.”