Don't leave scope for exploitation in 'Mumbai 24'
All night will be alright when there is sharper focus and a watertight understanding and dissemination of public information
As Mumbai stands on the edge of an exciting turn, green-lighted to pull an all-nighter, Maharashtra Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray's 24X7 project has become the hot topic in the city. The nightlife policy, though currently being implemented as a pilot project from January 27, needs to be very clearly defined. The residents as well as the owners and staff or the establishments need need more clarity on what all is allowed, what exactly is prohibited, which neighbourhoods will remain open for the restaurants to host the Mumbaikars throughout the night, and what will not be a part of this project, even during the experimental phase.
When you leave things open for interpretation, there is a high chance of some in the authoritative position to find loopholes to take advantage of the situation. Chances are incidents of extortion or bribery might crop up, or those keeping their establishments open may get into trouble for the lack of minute or detailed terms and guidelines in the policy.
The government needs to release the names of the establishments that have been allowed to implement the 'Mumbai 24' scheme, and also comprehensibly lay out the terms for running the late night operations. With the correct information in hand, the establishments will be able to run smoothly without any kind of fear and those wanting to enjoy the nightlife can also avail the services without disturbances.
This anticipation of confusion and the disadvantageous circumstances that may arise from it is line with a number of projects and schemes being launched with a great deal of fanfare and gung-ho, but end up leaving the beneficiaries or the stakeholders confused for the lack of clarity in the policy guidelines. This in turn opens the possibility for corruption and exploitation, and the authorities should not let that happen. All night will be alright when there is sharper focus and a watertight understanding and dissemination of public information.
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