Mumbai nightlife plan could be scrapped

After the home secretary’s apprehension over the plan to let shops and restaurants operate in the wee hours in certain parts of the city, CM Devendra Fadnavis, too, is unwilling to let the proposal pass

Mumbai shall not own the night. After the hype over the proposal to promote nightlife in select parts of the city, the chief minister has made up his mind to shelve the plan, following criticism by the state home secretary.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said in February that he wished to take the plan ahead, keeping in mind the concerns faced by peace-loving people and the very practicality of such a proposal. File pic
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said in February that he wished to take the plan ahead, keeping in mind the concerns faced by peace-loving people and the very practicality of such a proposal. File pic

The idea, mooted by the Shiv Sena’s youth wing chief Aaditya Thackeray, had got the support from Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria, who had assured that his force was prepared to tackle the law-and-order situation, should the idea get state approval.

Also read: Mumbai may once again become the city that never sleeps

In February this year, Thackeray had met with Fadnavis to discuss the proposal, which was then sent for the home secretary’s perusal. When asked yesterday, Fadnavis did not deny mid-day’s information that he was unwilling to go ahead with the proposal, especially following the concerns raised by Home Secretary K P Bakshi.

The secretary has said that the plan to keep shops, restaurants open 24x7 was not feasible and practical, because it would further burden the police and would lead to law-and-order issues. He has also said in his report that the plan would benefit a select few among the general populace.

The CM, who also heads the home department, seems to have decided to agree with the home secretary’s recommendations and concerns, which he himself raised while speaking to this reporter in February this year. Fadnavis had then said that he would like to take the plan forward, keeping in mind the concerns faced by peace-loving people and the very practicality of such a proposal.

Some of Fadnavis’ party colleagues, too, were skeptical about the plan and had insisted that it should also cater to the poor, who might want to get a vada pav or a cup of tea in the wee hours. Some BJP leaders, who are in support of the idea, had facilitated their meeting with Aaditya Thackeray, who has been pitching for it with the chief minister.

The idea is to have hotels, medical shops (pharmacies), milk shops, cafeterias and malls open 24x7. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had prepared this plan two years ago for the state government’s approval.

Nightlife plan
>> Hotels, milk shops, cafeterias and malls open 24X7
>> Applicable only in non-residential precincts such as Kala Ghoda, Nariman Point, Marine Drive, Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and Carter Road 
>> Commercial complexes like malls, especially those set up on mill lands, will be designated as special entertainment zones. Malls on non-mill land to also be included in this category 
>> Less expensive joints will be allowed to operate near railways stations and off the highways

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