Mumbai: The Maharashtra Cabinet today approved its 'Mumbai 24 hours' policy allowing malls, multiplexes and shops to remain open round-the-clock in the city from 27th January. Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray told reporters after the Cabinet meeting that the government's decision could help generate more revenue and jobs, in addition to the existing five lakh people working in the service sector.

He also said keeping shops, malls and eateries open in the night was not mandatory. "Only those who feel they can do good business can keep their establishments open throughout the night," he 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.

"In the Bandra-Kurla Complex and Nariman Point near NCPA, a lane will be opened for food trucks. Food inspectors will keep a watch on them. If rules on solid waste management, decibel limits and law and order are violated, there is provision of lifetime ban," the Shiv Sena leader said.

He said the police force will not be under stress because after 1.30 am, their job till now was to check if shops and establishments were shut down.

"But, now they will be able to focus on law and order only," said the minister, who is son of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

He also said that while taking the decision, Excise rules have not been touched and pubs and bars will close as usual at 1.30am.

"People can eat food, shop and watch movies even during the night," he said.

He said Mumbai is a "24x7 functional city". "There are people who work in night shifts. There are tourists, too, in transit. Where do they go if they are hungry after 10 pm?" he asked.

Thackeray also said there are provisions for security and CCTVs in malls and mill compounds and they have all the licenses. If these establishments need additional police security, they will have to pay for it, he added.

The long-pending proposal to keep all restaurants, malls, multiplexes, shopping plazas, etc. open 24 hrs was given the green signal late at a meeting chaired by Environment and Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray.

List of Malls to remain open 24X7

Among the likely early-birds joining the late-night bandwagon are: the Oberoi Mall and The Hub in Goregaon, Growel 101 in Kandivali, R-City Mall in Ghatkopar, Atria Mall in Worli, Phoenix Market City in Kurla, High Street Phoenix in Lower Parel, CitiMall in Andheri, and many even have multiplexes within their premises, besides security and parking.

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