Corporator pushes for 24x7 eateries

Work late nights or get midnight hunger pangs? Here’s some good news for you. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will consider a proposal to keep eateries open for 24-hour business.

Makrand Narvekar
Makrand Narvekar

The proposal, mooted by Independent corporator and BMC’s Law Committee chairman Adv Makrand Narvekar, wants eateries in malls, commercial and non-residential areas of the city to be open throughout the night. Narvekar is proposing that the civic body should amend its Shop and Establishment Act, 1948 so that eateries are allowed to serve food 24x7. The Act prohibits shops from staying open after 8.30 pm.

A one-day holiday, any day of the week, is also mandatory under the Act. The suggestion has been put on the agenda and will be discussed in the General Body meeting, which is scheduled for the month-end. The civic administration, citing law and order issues, is however reluctant.

“Shops situated in the vicinity of railway stations can stay open the entire night. But, if eateries at other places are allowed to remain open, then police should be deployed there to prevent any law and order situation,” said Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner, who is in charge of the licence department. He, however, said that the administration would consider the proposal.

Boost for night workers
“Since Mumbai is the financial capital of the country, people arrive here for various jobs and also for higher education. Even the Information and Technology sector here is thriving. Many private sectors firms conduct business with companies operating in countries like the US and UK, and hence have to work 24 hours. Staff are working three shifts a day and the city is developing a 24x7 work culture, so at least few pockets should be allowed to provide food service for 24 hours,” added Narvekar.

When asked about the law and order issue, Narvekar pointed out that only food should be served at night and not alcohol. “The BMC should recommend the proposal and put it before the state Urban Development department for consideration. They will study it and take a decision,” said Narvekar. As per Section 18 of Act, the state government has the right to extend the time beyond business hours, but there is no provision for any shop or eatery to stay open the entire night.

Keeping eateries open 24x7 is a good idea, as the city is a commercial hub with people working during the day and also at night. It will be a great help to people with irregular shift timings. - Adarsh Bhandari, Kandivli resident

It’s a great idea. Shops remaining open at night will prove to be a boon for women since no area would be isolated. Moreover, women leaving offices late at night would feel secure with the crowds patronising these eateries. - Apeksha Champaneri, Andheri resident

I strongly support this because there are many people who work late at night. Since the eateries would be open always, it would make it easier for them to get food. Moreover, it would prove beneficial for the jobless and decrease unemployment. - Anuja Mistry, Goregaon resident

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