What is legal during the day, cannot become illegal at night. This is the message Aditya Thackeray, President of Yuva Sena is striving to send to Mumbai government, especially on upcoming New Year’s Eve celebrations.
He is advocating that the government allow non-residential zones in urban areas to remain open all night for legal entertainment.
In a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Thackeray Jr. has demanded a similar treatment to other major cities such as Thane, Navi Mumbai and Pune so that people could enjoy night life without restrictions.
It was way back in 2013 that the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had first passed a proposal, later approve by the Commissioner of Police in 2015, for providing permission for 24×7 activities in non-residential centers, he pointed out.
Even the state legislature passed a bill to the effect in 2017 but is now awaiting the nod from the Home Department to allow “non-residential areas in Mumbai and other cities to remain open round-the-clock.”
The state government, in December 2017, issued a notification with a suitable amendment in the Maharashtra Shops & Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Service Condition) Act, 2017.
The notification allowed 24 operations in three shifts by shops and establishments, imposed restrictions on pubs, discotheques and bars in view of potential law and order concerns expressed by the home department.
Thackeray pointed out that the move to implement 24×7 operations would not only generate additional revenue for the state exchequer but also create more employment opportunities in various sectors besides giving a fillip to tourism.
“What is legal during the day, cannot become illegal at night,” he said.
He urged the government on the “need to trust the citizens and provide them more space to unwind after long hours of work.”
The issue of unleashing Mumbai night-life – on the lines of several cities like London, New York, Las Vegas, Barcelona, Berlin, Bangkok, Tokyo, Buenos Aires – has been a matter of considerable debate in various circles for many years.
Once enjoying the enviable reputation of a ‘city that never sleeps’, Mumbai’s night-life took a severe battering after the Mumbai riots of 1992-1993, then the March 1993 serial bomb blasts, later the ban on dance bars in 2005, followed by the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes, besides other factors such as pollution laws and politics.
Despite moves to ease the situation by permitting dance bars with stringent controls, rooftop restaurants and orchestra bars, most have failed to take off for various reasons, leaving the night life in the country’s commercial, glamour capital, a dull affair.