On Friday, multiple reports claimed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Police had given permission to establishments which fall under the category of “gated communities” and non-residential areas, to remain open 24/7 from midnight of January 26-27.
The move was approved in a meeting chaired by state tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray on 16 January, with the BMC chief Praveen Pardeshi, police commissioner Sanjay Barve and representatives of malls, hotels and restaurants in attendance, reportedly.
“There are around two dozen malls, besides other places which will fall in this category. Since Mumbai is a city that is active almost round-the-clock, this is expected to benefit the people, besides tourists,” BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi said.
He said that unlike other cities which have unlimited space but limited active hours, Mumbai has little scope to expand further so it must capitalize on existing resources by keeping them open longer.
“We are also planning to set up 24×7 Food Courts across the city where people can go anytime. This will generate more employment opportunities and open more business avenues,” Pardeshi said.
Aaditya, responding to a report by a TV news channel, tweeted:
— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) January 17, 2020
BJP leader Ashish Shelar on Friday asked the Maharashtra government to clarify on the scheme, saying that peace, safety and security of Mumbaikars was the top priority and that “any mall, eatery which is a security threat for residential areas or puts the burden on police will be opposed”.
On 27 December, 2018, Aaditya had demanded that major cities in Maharashtra allow hotels and entertainment establishments to remain open 24X7 on the New Year’s eve.
In 2015, Aaditya, the then Yuva Sena chief had met then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and pressed for changes in civic laws to allow a “vibrant nightlife” in Mumbai, reminding Fadnavis of a resolution of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation passed in 2013, to let hotels and shops in non-residential areas in Mumbai to remain open 24X7.