Resolution asks government to permit establishments to remain open 24x7

This is one suggestion that will cheer up night birds, those working night shifts and tourists. The Chennai Hotels Association has suggested that the State government permit restaurants and tea shops to be open 24 hours a day. There are around 5,000 hotels, restaurants and eateries in the city. 

The annual meeting of the association, which was held here on Tuesday, passed a resolution urging the State government to extend timings for hotels. K.T. Srinivasaraja, president of the association, said that though the Director General of Police had issued an order last year permitting hotels to remain open till 1.30 a.m., policemen often forced them to shut down as early as 10.30 p.m. 

The association’s request, if accepted, will be a boon for those like M. Sarathkumar, a resident of Triplicane, who works night shifts for at least one week a month. “A light snack would be welcome when I leave office after a hectic day’s work at 1 a.m. However, not a single eatery is open in most areas at that time. If we are lucky, one particular hotel serves us from behind closed shutters, that too only if the night patrol policemen are not in the vicinity. Even a cup of tea and a few biscuits would help,” he said.

Rohit Zachariah, CEO, The Curry Club, concurred, noting that many of his customers worked till late in the night.

“Often, when BPO employees walk in around 11.30 p.m., we are cleaning up after the day and have no option but to turn them away. The police force us to shut down then. Personally, after a night show, I would like to walk in to a regular hotel rather than shell out a huge amount at a five star hotel,” he said. 

Foodies like Jose Sebastian, who runs a construction company in the city, were also happy at the suggestion.

“With the kind of lifestyles we have here, hunger can strike at any time. In many countries such as U.K., coffee shops, kebab stores and burger chains remain open throughout the night. A move like this will be ideal for those who wake up hungry at 3 a.m. and would appreciate any kind of food,” he said.  

Tamil Nadu Hotels Association Secretary R. Srinivasan pointed out that restaurants inside airports are already allowed to operate throughout the day. “Similarly, hotels near bus stands and railway stations should be allowed to remain open for tourists and those on night shift,” he said. 

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