Mumbai: Bandra, Khar may soon get dedicated zones for pubs, lounges

By proposing a commercial zone in the 12th, 13th and 14th roads of Khar, Ashish Shelar seeks to assuage his constituency, which is fed up of pubs and restaurants at its doorsteps, while blunting Sena’s nightlife proposal

14th Road at Khar has a host of commerical establishments, including the pub Monkey Bar. Pics/Satej Shinde
14th Road at Khar has a host of commerical establishments, including the pub Monkey Bar. Pics/Satej Shinde

The one-upmanship between the ruling allies isn’t likely to end anytime soon. After criticising Shiv Sena’s proposal for nightlife in the city, BJP Mumbai chief and Bandra legislator Ashish Shelar has come up with an idea of having restaurants, pubs and lounges in the upmarket western suburbs of Khar and Bandra — in dedicated commercial zones.

Tavaa restaurant on Turner Road in Bandra
Tavaa restaurant on Turner Road in Bandra

The state government has proposed commercial zones to be created in areas in and around the two tony areas, and has even sent a letter regarding this to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Also Read: Mumbai: BJP counters Shiv Sena's nightlife plan with night market plan

Shelar has proposed dedicated commercial zones at Turner Road, Waterfield Road and road numbers 12, 13 and 14 in Khar, all of which, he said, should be included in the DP of 2034.

Commercially speaking
“I have submitted a proposal to the BMC commissioner for having dedicated commercial zones, where restaurants and pubs can come up, in the DP of 2034. At present, such establishments are causing problems as they are within residential areas,” Shelar told mid-day.

As per the proposal, the pubs and restaurants should be concentrated in these locations so that the spots can be developed into commercial hubs. The space given to them too can be controlled, preventing illegal extensions, it added.

At present, several pubs and lounge bars have carried out illegal extensions by taking over footpaths and other public areas and setting up smoking zones complete with chairs and tables.

“We have been constantly monitoring restaurants and pubs in our ward; any illegal extension, if found, is demolished,” said Sharad Ughade, assistant municipal commissioner of H-west ward.

Poll play
This is apparently BJP’s answer to Sena’s 24x7 nightlife idea. The former has said that a dedicated zone would have everything and would not affect residents’ peace all through the night, which is what the problem is currently with residential areas left choc-a-bloc with cars and crowd till late night.

Slamming Sena’s rooftop parties and 24-hour bazaar plans, Shelar said all this would disturb citizens. It’s no surprise that this tug-of-war is coming with the BMC elections just a few months away.

'Welcome proposal'
Managing trustee of Khar Residents Association Anandini Thakoor said, “It has been our demand to have a dedicated commercial zone for restaurants and pubs, and hence, we welcome the proposal. Such establishments have been causing disturbance in residential areas — the menace of traffic, honking, as well as people drinking outside buildings till late. We had met government officials regarding this and had informed Ashish Shelar too.”

Read Story: Soon, rooftop restaurants in Mumbai may be a reality

'What an absurd plan!'
However, not all are over the moon about it. Resident and social activist Aftab Siddique said, “These roads are very narrow and already have around 15 bars and pubs in a 2-km stretch. There are seven malls, two educational institutions, and 17 hospitals and nursing homes in this commercial hub. Where’s the space? If people are visiting bars and pubs, they will require parking, which is already a problem in this area. There should be proper planning before taking such an absurd decision.”

The BMC has claimed that it is yet to see Shelar’s proposal, and that additions can be made to DP 2034 as it’s a long way to implementation.

The locations
>> Turner Road: Royal China, Moti Mahal Restaurant, Sahibaan, Tavaa, Lemon Leaf
>> Khar 13th Road: Khar Gymkhana, Melting Pot
>> Khar 14th Road: Cafe Mangii, Jai Jawan Khar

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