Mumbai: Allowed to operate round-the-clock, restaurants/establishments will lose their liquor permits for two years if they fail to adhere to the 'no alcohol beyond 1.30 am rule'. Not only this, the gated community (mall/mills) flouting rules will also lose their permission to operate 24x7.
Following criticism from activists and the Opposition, the Birhanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officially released guidelines along with the objectives of the 24x7 plan, giving more clarity over its implementation.
The move comes two days after the state Cabinet approved the plan, allowing Mumbai malls, restaurants and multiplexes around gated communities to stay open 24x7. Fending off criticism from the Opposition, the guidelines state that extending the city’s nightlife will help turn India’s commercial capital into a global city and give its economy a boost by generating more jobs and tourist income.
To ensure this, there will be no change in the 1.30-am limit for serving alcohol, the guidelines state, and also mention that stringent action will be taken against those flouting norms.
These establishments/restaurants opting for the 24x7 plan will have to give an undertaking to the Excise Department and to Mumbai police confirming that they will not serve alcohol after 1.30 am. The establishments will have to put a notice in a prominent place on their premises regarding this.
The policy will be implemented in the first phase ensuring that residential areas are not affected. Noise guidelines along with other civic and environmental norms will have to be observed. Establishments in Bandra Kurla Complex, Nariman Point, Lower Parel, and erstwhile mill compounds will be allowed to operate throughout, subject to clearance from the BMC and the Mumbai Police. Besides, locations such as Juhu Chowpatty, Girgaum Chowpatty, Worli Sea Face, Bandra Bandstand, Nariman Point (NCPA corner) are being discussed for food trucks.
The guidelines also mention precautionary/safety measures to be in place while implementing the 24x7 plan. They instruct those opting for the plan to ensure they have adequate infrastructure to handle visitors along with ample parking facilities, appoint trained staff for late shifts, qualified security personnel, and robust surveillance systems.
Apart from this, the establishments have been asked to maintain minimum disturbance/nuisance level.
Clarifying on the permissions and rules, a senior BMC official said: “All necessary permissions required to allow an establishment to operate 24X7 are already in place. The excise laws will continue as they are and no relaxation will be provided to the same.”