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 proposal for the 24/7 opening of retail outlets from January 27 was cleared by the state cabinet yesterday. The decision could help generate more revenue and jobs, in addition to the existing five lakh people working in the service sector, Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray said.
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 Aaditya Thackeray, stand-up comedian Atul Khatri said the move will boost business, employment opportunities and security in the country's financial and entertainment capital.
Finally! #Mumbai24x7. 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 & also security. Let all of us Mumbaikars ensure we don't mess it up. Thank you @AUThackeray," Mr Khatri tweeted.
Finally! #Mumbai24x7— Atul Khatri (@one_by_two) January 23, 2020
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 & also security.
Let all of us Mumbaikars ensure we don't mess it up.
Thank you @AUThackeray
Pubs and bars, however, will close as usual at 1:30 am. Mr Thackeray, the son of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, said keeping shops, malls and eateries open in the night was not mandatory.
"So, I can get a haircut at 2 am, go to the bank, but I cannot get a drink. Non-drinkers can get food all night long," Twitter user Sarita (@VioletVeggy) wrote.
"I think this is the right move by @CMOMaharashtra. As being a developing country we need some more cities in the list. I hope @PMOIndia will think about it and will make some more cities like this," another user tweeted.
Several others, meanwhile, wondered 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 24x7 establishments also have to commute too and fro....pls think about their safety too..— Deepak Amin (@amind1970) January 21, 2020
Plus the burden on Trains, Buses, autos, police , traffic police, etc. https://t.co/CCxQgktzsZ
The BJP, now in opposition in Maharashtra, has questioned the move. "26th January is Republic Day, a dry day. And that same day the whole night pubs, dance bars and alcohol will be served. Has the government completely lost it?" the part's chief whip in the assembly Ashish Shelar said.
Another BJP leader, Raj Purohit, said rape cases will increase if shops, malls, restaurants and movie theaters in Mumbai are allowed to remain open for 24 hours. "I have been protesting against nightlife in Mumbai for the last five years. it's not a part of Indian culture. This will lead the youth down on a wrong path and will also lead to an increase in the number of rape cases, crimes against women," the 64-year-old BJP leader told news agency ANI on Tuesday.