Allow restaurants, cafe’s & malls to stay open till 6 am: Aaditya Thackeray

Allow restaurants, cafe's & malls to stay open till 6 am: Aaditya Thackeray
Aaditya Thackeray

Ahead of the upcoming BMC elections, Yuva Suna President Aaditya Thackeray once again revived Sena’s plan to keep malls, restaurants and coffee shops open, claiming that it will be in the interest of Mumbaikars.

While speaking at India Nightlife Convention and Awards (INCA) 2016 organised by Kickstart Entertainment and the National Restaurant Association of India on Sunday, Thackeray said that the city lacks avenues where an average Mumbaikar could go after a hard day of work.

He also took a dig at the BJP-ruled State Government, which is allegedly delaying the nightlife plan approved by the BMC in 2013.

The plan, first mooted by Thackeray, was presented to former police commissioner Rakesh Maria in 2013 by Colaba corporator Makarand Narwekar.

Later, in 2014, Sena envisaged a plan to set up special entertainment zones in areas like Bandra Kurla Complex, Carter Road, Nariman point etc wherein establishments like malls, restaurants and coffee shops would be allowed to run all night.

“How can something that is legal in the day become illegal after midnight? Mumbai is known for its safety and Mumbaikars must be trusted. Having restaurants and cafes, medical and convenience stores open at night will only make the city safer. Why are they open only till 1:30 am? Let them stay open until 5 or 6 am. Our nightlife plan was passed by the BMC unanimously in 2013 and it is still pending with the state government. The government is not with me on this as yet,” Thackeray said.

“The nightlife plan is not about bars and pubs. It is for providing quality and affordable food at odd hours to the common man. Mumbai is a metropolis of responsible citizens and hardworking corporates whose average day ends at 7 pm. They deserve time to enjoy the city nightlife and have a healthy work life balance. Today, 24×7 cafes are open only in five star hotels. Why shouldn’t the common man be able to enjoy quality food? Our plan was to let establishments remain open 24×7 in areas like Nariman Point, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and malls across the city. This shouldn’t be compulsory but optional,” Thackeray added.

Thackeray also said he hoped that a single window licensing system for the tourism industry, for renewing licenses and obtaining permissions, would soon become a reality.

Despite pushing for the plan’s implementation since three years, the plan is yet to see the light of day because of staunch opposition by BJP legislators.

Earlier, BJP legislator from Mumbadevi constituency, Raj Purohit, had even claimed that “nightlife is against our culture” while opposing the decision.

Since then, the plan has been waiting for approval by the state government.

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