MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Cabinet on Wednesday approved a 2013 proposal to keep the city open 24/7 from January 27.
The cabinet has decided to let malls and eateries stay open through the night in Mumbai in select non-residential areas in the first phase. They include gated communities such as Bandra Kurla Complex and Nariman Point. One lane each at Nariman Point and BKC have been identified to allow food trucks to do business during the night.
Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray told reporters after the Cabinet meeting that the government's decision could help generate more revenue and jobs, in addition to the existing five lakh people working in the service sector.
“London’s nightlife economy is 5 billion pounds and we expect similar growth in Mumbai. We have 5 lakh youths employed in the service sector in Mumbai. This proposal may help the number of jobs to double to 10 lakh,” Thackeray was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying.
The facility, however, would not apply to the eateries that serve liquor such as pubs, bars and liquor shops. The bars and permit rooms will have to follow the 1.30 am deadeline, tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray said after the state cabinet cleared his proposal.
“The proposal was first mooted in 2013, but the Devendra Fadnavis government had not acted on it owing to what to what Aaditya Thackeray described as a “credit war”.
Thackeray clarified that Wednesday’s cabinet decision did not imply that people had to keep shops open the entire night. It is optional, the minister said.
He said the police force will not be under stress because after 1.30 am, their job till now was to check if shops and establishments were shut down.
"But, now they will be able to focus on law and order only," said the minister, who is son of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray (with inputs from Livemint).
Image Credit: India TV