For long, Mumbai has been known as the city that never sleeps. The Maharashtra government has made it official.
The state’s legislative assembly and council have cleared a bill that will amend the Maharashtra Shops and Establishment Act. The change allows stores, restaurants and malls to operate round the clock across the state. All it now requires is the governor’s assent.
I thank all who supported the vision to boost Mumbai's tourism, revenue, employment through "Mumbai 24 Hours" proposed by BMC in 2013— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) August 11, 2017
This is a vindication of my stand allowing the hard working citizens some chilling time isn't immoral or illegal. We must support them— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) August 11, 2017
Yet, the initial excitement has given way to caution. Restauranteurs and other business owners want to see the fine print. Their doubts are justified because the new law won’t be a free ticket for everyone.
The state will act as a facilitator when it comes to permissions, a government official told BloombergQuint. What that means is that the onus to grant permissions to shops and other establishments to stay open all night will be with the government, and these will be given on a case-by-case basis. It’s also unclear whether bars will be allowed to serve alcohol after the existing 1:30 a.m. deadline.
Alcohol or not, Vishesh Khanna, co-owner of Door No. 1, a retro-bar in Bandra Reclamation, feels easier rules will be a step in the right direction. Allowing establishments to operate through the night will bring Mumbai up to speed with other cities like New York, London and Singapore, he says.
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