Mumbai, you can party all night
State cabinet gives approval to Aaditya's 'Mumbai 24' proposal; pilot run to begin on January 27, but no alcohol after 1.30 am.
Mumbaikars, get ready to party all night! The government on Wednesday approved the proposal for nightlife in the financial hub, starting January 27. However, there is not much good news for the tipplers as the restaurants and pubs serving alcohol have been excluded from the list of establishments that will run 24×7. These places will be allowed to serve drinks only until 1.30 am.
Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray's proposal — Mumbai 24 — for nightlife got an approval at a cabinet meeting presided over by his father and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Convinced with the proposal, the Maha Vikas Aghadi constituents from the Congress and the NCP gave a nod to run the pilot project from Jan-end.
The pilot run will begin on gated premises and business districts of Fort, Worli, Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), etc, where residential population is scarce. The city police commissioner will take the decision on selecting the business areas and mills lands for the project. Establishments can decide whether or they want to remain open 24x7.
Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray. File pics
'No burden on cops'
Aaditya and Home Minister Anil Deshmukh made an announcement to this effect after the weekly cabinet meeting. Aaditya said the scheme will create more jobs and can be extended to other areas and cities after a thorough run of the pilot in Mumbai.
Deshmukh, who was apprehensive about the project but later supported it considering its restricted nature, said there won't be any additional pressure on the police. The alcohol sale at restaurants and pubs won't be allowed after 1.30 am to maintain law and order, he added.
"Mumbai nightlife may not be the correct description, we can call it Mumbai 24x7," said Aaditya. "This scheme will generate more employment. Mumbai runs 24X7. People work night shifts and where will they go if hungry? They can't shop. They can't watch movies. Men and women move freely in the city. Tourists visit the city in large numbers. We also have to encourage Mumbai 24 to earn more revenue. The safety will be taken care of by CCTV cameras. Shops would be open six or five days… they may even operate for 18 hours daily,"
The Opposition decried the move and blamed it on the "childish" demand of a particular leader. Opposition leader Praveen Darekar said the scheme will create more problems than foreseen.
BJP legislator Ashish Shelar said it was an attempt to mask an FSI scam in gated places like Kamala Mills where 14 patrons had died in the pubs owing to irregularities.
"The government is trying to protect the unauthorised constructions in the garb of tourism. Nightlife will increase the troubles of Mumbai residents," he said.
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