It is nearly a month that the Mumbai 24×7 open was launched with great fanfare on January 27 by state tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray.
The decision could help generate more revenue and jobs in addition to the existing five lakh people working in the service sector, Thackeray averred.
While the Maharashtra government’s decision to let malls, movie theatres, shops and restaurants in Mumbai to stay open all night has been welcomed by a large section of social media users and Mumbai residents, the scheme that initially went underway with a tepid response is slowly gaining popularity.
Pubs and bars, however, will close as usual at 1:30 am. Thackeray however said that keeping shops, malls and eateries open in the night was not mandatory.
Such a move would put tremendous pressure on the police. “This is the time when thieves and robbers roam around the city roads and steal among other things, cars, bikes and other disposables. There would be several cars and bikes parked outside malls and eateries. The thieves, who move in groups, will keep a watch on good looking vehicles on which they can put their hands on. Finding an opportune time, they will whisk away with the vehicles,” said Manuel D’costa.
In the first phase, shops, eateries and theatres in malls and mill compounds situated in non-residential areas will be allowed to remain open.
Thanking the state government for this move, Dr Rane said that the move will boost business, employment opportunities and security in the country’s financial and entertainment capital.
This is something what ‘the max city which never sleeps’ needed. This is a very big step for Mumbai in terms of opportunity, business, employment and also security. Let all of us Mumbaikars ensure we don’t mess it up. Many others have however wondered as to how the plan would be implemented while ensuring people’s safety at night.
Nightlife comes with serious security threats and burden on police. The staff in all these 24×7 establishments also have to commute to and fro.
Most mall owners said that initially the malls will be open only till 3 am. One or two malls might open till 5 am but if the project kicks off as expected will the niche restaurants and food courts be open, but only till 3 am.
Only after testing the customer response will the establishment owners decide further. “There will be recurring costs of air conditioning, electricity, employees’ salary and all that needs to be looked into while deciding to go further in the case” observed Sudhakar Rao.
Most importantly, people will find problems in moving. To reach malls and eateries, people will need public carriers like buses and trains. No buses or trains are available after 1 am and not all can afford commuting by taxis. “Me and my family have loved Aaditya’s idea of keeping Mumbai open 24×7. But travelling comes as a stumbling block. So we will remain indoors,” said Mahesh Savant. It is indeed a matter to put our heads into. All said and done, if everything is put in place, this pet project of Aaditya Thackeray will surely see good results.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)