In a move that is expected to boost the nightlife of Mumbai, eateries and multiplexes will be allowed to stay open 24×7 making it possible for Mumbaikars to shop, eat and watch a late-night movie. 

All establishments like restaurants, malls, multiplexes and retail outlets falling under ‘gated communities’ in Mumbai will be allowed to stay open, in a move that is expected to give a major boost to tourism in the city. 

The decision was taken at a meeting called by Maharashtra Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray on Thursday. 

The meeting was attended by Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi, Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve and senior officials from police and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Representatives of shopping malls, hotels and restaurants including the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) also attended the meeting. 

While a law allowing such establishments in Maharashtra to stay open round-the-clock through the week was passed in 2017, it was not implemented in Mumbai. 

Welcoming the move ‘wholeheartedly’, the HRAWI thanked ‘young and dynamic minister’ Aaditya Thackeray.

“The association has been spearheading the petition for making Mumbai a global tourism destination for nearly two decades. We had approached the new Minister with our proposal and we are happy that swift action was taken. We are thankful to the young and dynamic minister Aaditya Thackeray who has helped actualise the implementation of this policy expeditiously,” Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, President, HRAWI said. 

The association also thanked officials from BMC and Mumbai police for their co-operation and support. 

“The decision to allow commerce to continue through the night will popularize hospitality and tourism and improve perception of the city in the eyes of foreign tourists,” Kohli said. 

The HRAWI termed the move as a sign of progress, benefitting both employment and tourism. 

“With the law already in place, it is now up to the stakeholders to optimise this additional operational window to attract customers,” it said.  

“This decision holds the potential to increase employment opportunities by at least 25 per cent in the city and eventually across the State. This is a definite boost to tourism and economy, and will help the hospitality sector to emerge even stronger,” Kohli said. 

“To promote footfalls in malls and other gated communities, retailers could offer discounts to post-midnight shoppers and theatres could offer lower priced tickets for late night movie shows,” he added. 

The HRAWI has also submitted a docket to Thackeray with suggestions and recommendations to incentivise 24×7 operations, among other things. 

“We have a clear vision about the 24×7 operations and how it will pan out. With Mumbai as the template, other cities in state can eventually adopt the culture and which will put Maharashtra on the map of world tourism. The Police Commissioner has extended us his full support and the Municipal Commissioner has ensured that there is no ambiguity in understanding of the law. The HRAWI too extends its complete support and assistance to the State and its machinery in making this endeavour a success,” Kohli said. 

The law amended Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Service Condition) Act, 2017 which allows shops, hotels and malls to remain open round-the-clock through the week in Maharashtra was passed by state assembly by Devendra Fadnavis government.

The law does not apply to bars, pubs, liquor shops and discotheques.

Courtesy : DNA

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