Rakesh Maria, who had given the nightlife proposal a huge fillip when he was the police commissioner, said it was high time that establishments were allowed to operate 24/7 after they comply to all the mandatory safety precautions if Mumbai is to call itself a truly international city.
"The police department is capable of maintaining law and order if establishments function all night," Maria, who had given the all-clear on behalf of the police, told mid-day.
He had submitted his approval that the police had no objection if establishments operated 24/7 in the third quarter of 2014, with the rider that establishments should not be located in residential areas.
He had also specified that establishments should compulsorily make sufficient precautionary arrangements for women's safety and also comply with certain conditions like installing security cameras, having internal security arrangements and adequate parking.
"If we are to say Mumbai is a global city, business hub, tourist destination and also a safe city, then this is the main criteria," he said. "We are spending so much of force in the night. Traffic police and local police do regular patrolling.
So if establishments operate in the night, it's not a problem. What is the need for the police to be everywhere if establishments have enough internal security? All over the world, there are entertainment zones, hotel/restaurant areas.
It's high time we thought on those lines. If a coffee shop can operate 24/7 in a five-star, then why not allow others."
Hotels and pubs apply for renewal of their licences with the commissioner's office at regular intervals. Based on their records with the local police station, the department takes a call on whether to renew or cancel their licenses.
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