The Government of Maharashtra has given its nod to keep shops, eateries and theatres in malls in Mumbai open for 24 hours. The proposal cleared by the cabinet on Wednesday, January 22 states that the first phase of this project will come into effect from January 27, 2020, with no relaxation in excise rules.

A pet project of Aditya Thackeray, Cabinet Minister of Tourism and Environment, Government of Maharashtra, this new reform allows only shops, eateries and theatres in malls and mill compounds situated in non-residential areas to function round-the-clock. Although, strict labour laws need to be followed wherein these establishments will have to bring in workers in three shifts.

Gated spaces and non-residential areas where they have their own CCTV surveillance and parking facilities, and where decibel levels can be curtailed have been chosen for the pilot.

However, bars and pubs serving alcohol cannot remain open after 0130 hours.

Bandra Kurla Complex and Nariman Point, two of Mumbai’s leading business districts, will have a lane dedicated for food trucks.

Thackeray believes that this initiative may help in generating more revenue and jobs in the service sector.

Adding to this, Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) says, “This decision holds the potential to increase employment opportunities by at least 25 per cent in the city and eventually across the state. This is a definite boost to tourism and economy, and will help the hospitality sector to emerge even stronger.

“The implementation is now up to the stakeholders and how quickly they implement it. To promote footfalls in malls and other gated communities, retailers could offer discounts to post-midnight shoppers and theatres could offer lower priced tickets for late night movie shows.”