Soon, rooftop restaurants in Mumbai may be a reality

While the BJP had rejected Aaditya Thackeray’s proposal for rooftop restaurants last year, the idea has showed up as a provision in BMC’s DCR again this year

While Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray’s plan to revive Mumbai’s vibrant nightlife by allowing rooftop restaurants on commercial buildings was shot down by BJP last year, it has found its way back in this year’s Development Control Regulations (DCR) drafted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

A provision in the DCR allows rooftop restaurants with kitchens downstairs due to fire safety norms. Pic for representation/ThinkStock
A provision in the DCR allows rooftop restaurants with kitchens downstairs due to fire safety norms. Pic for representation/ThinkStock

A provision in the DCR allows rooftop restaurants with kitchens downstairs due to fire safety norms. Section 37 of the DCR, under a subhead ‘Common Terraces’, reads, “…in case of fully commercial buildings including buildings of hotels, terraces may be permitted to be used as a restaurant. No construction whatsoever, temporary or permanent, except service platform and toilet block, shall be permissible.”

“It is entirely up to the owner of a building. If he wishes, he can have a rooftop restaurant,” said Ramnath Jha, officer on special duty for DP revision. But when asked what happens if the tenants or other occupants of the building oppose, he said, “There will have to be a grievance redressal mechanism for that.”

Political argument
Thackeray’s brainchild, the proposal for rooftop restaurants, was proposed last year with an intention to revive the city’s nightlife. He had proposed that rooftop restaurants in commercial areas like Bandra-Kurla Complex, could be kept open all night, while those around residential buildings must shut down according to the 1.30 am deadline set for restaurants and bars.

The proposal met with vehement opposition from none other than Sena’s ally BJP. It shot down the idea while saying “it is against Indian culture”. Now, when the proposal has shown its face again in the DCR, BJP doesn’t seem happy. “Our stand remains the same. If rooftop restaurants are allowed, they will create nuisance for the residential buildings nearby. Even if bars are not allowed, there might be noise and nuisance might be created,” said BJP group leader Manoj Kotak. He added that the party would demand an amendment to the DCR in the General Assembly.

To this, Sena leader and standing committee chairman Yashodhar Phanse said the proposal is still a draft right now and Shiv Sena will make its stand clear in the House.

Open spaces to be given to encroachers
The civic body yesterday released a contentious provision of the DCR that will have open spaces activists fuming. According to the provision, if a reserved open space under the RG/PG policy has been encroached upon, the BMC plans to give 67% of the land to slum dwellers for rehabilitation and make 33% available as open space to the city.

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