With not many people of the city being aware of the nightlife that kicked off on Sunday (December 26), the much-touted Mumbai nightlife experiment failed to take off on a high note.
Cleared by the state Cabinet on January 22, the “Mumbai 24 Hours” policy allows shops, eateries and theatres in malls and mill compounds located in non-residential areas to remain open round-the-clock.
In upscale Nariman Point and Worli areas, several shopping malls remained closed during the night.
However, state Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray, who is the prime mover behind the Mumbai 24×7 initiative, sounded optimistic. “It would gather pace in the coming weeks when people will start realising that it is safe for them to come out late night and enjoy,” Thackeray told reporters late night when asked about several shopping malls remaining shut in the night. He said a huge response to the move on the very first night was anyway not expected.
Sources attributed the tepid response to little awareness about the overall concept and the services that are covered under it.
Thackeray said, “The shops complying with safety and waste processing norms are being allowed to operate under the Nightlife policy”. He reiterated that Mumbai is safe for all and it will remain so.
As per the policy, keeping shops, malls and eateries open in the night is optional and not mandatory.
Explaining the rationale behind the need of such policy, Thackeray had said that Mumbai is a “24×7 functional city” where people who work in night shifts and the tourists in transit need to have access to food in late hours.
The bars, permit rooms and pubs are currently excluded from the purview of the policy.