Hitting back at BJP for opposing the ‘Mumbai 24x7 plan’, Maharashtra Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday stated that there was a big difference between 'nightlife' and ‘Mumbai 24x7’. He alleged that the BJP leaders were obsessed about 'nightlife’ but didn’t have the courage to talk about it publicly. Maintaining that his decision pertained to facilitating Mumbaikars to access restaurants, shopping, gyms, theatres throughout the night, Thackeray assured that the permissions in this regard would be given only after meeting specific requirements.
Thackeray remarked, “It is unfortunate that the opposition is talking without knowing what is happening. In reality, there is a big difference between nightlife and Mumbai 24x7. Nightlife is in their mind, something which they can’t talk about. What I am starting is Mumbai 24x7. Many people in Mumbai work in the night shift. If you feel hungry at night, you have to go to a 5-star hotel. Mumbai is a city that runs 24/7. In malls and mill compounds where there are no residents, there is parking, CCTV- eateries, theatres, shopping, gyms can remain open 24x7 from January 26.”
Aaditya Thackeray, the son of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also clarified that there would be no change to the timings of pubs and bars. Moreover, he revealed that the police and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had studied the situation. Thackeray, who is also the Guardian Minister of Mumbai Suburban district cited the example of the vibrant night-time economy of London.
“The excise norm is not being changed. We are not touching the pubs and bars. They will close at the normal time. Police and the Municipal Corporation has studied it. Mumbaikars have welcomed it. If you see the examples from abroad, London’s night-time economy is worth 5 billion pounds. If the opposition feels that only Mumbai should lag behind, then it should keep it to themselves. Mumbai is always a city that runs 24x7,” the Maharashtra Tourism minister said.
Earlier in the day, BJP MLA Ashish Shelar claimed that bars and pubs would remain open throughout the night in the garb of the ‘Mumbai 24x7 plan’. According to him, this could negatively impact the safety of women and put pressure on the police. He stressed that his party would oppose bars and hotels remaining open at night in residential areas.
व्यापार वाढीसाठी 24×7 माँल सुरु ठेवणे हे केलेही पाहिजे..पण त्याच गोंडस नावने रात्रभर बार,लेडिजबार,पब सुरु ठेवण्यात येणार आहेत. त्यामुळे महिलांची सुरक्षा धोक्यात,पोलिसांवर ताण.. छत्रपतींच्या वंशजांकडे पुरावे मागणारेच हे करु शकतात. निवासी भागात हाँटेल,पब सुरु ठेवण्यास आमचा विरोधच!— Adv. Ashish Shelar - ॲड. आशिष शेलार (@ShelarAshish) January 18, 2020