Choosing not to play a spoilsport this festive season, the Maharashtra government has allowed revellers to party until 5 a.m. on news year's eve. This will add cheer to party goers who are planning to usher in the New Year by partying all night long.
Like last year, this year too, the Maharashtra government has decided to allow drinks to be served until 5 a.m.
Post the 26/11 attack, the Maharashtra government had brought down the time limit to1 a.m. But for the last two years it has relaxed the deadline. And this good news extends to the entire state.
Early this month, the State Excise department had written to the Maharashtra government seeking relaxation of the deadline on news year's eve. The notification on the same was received on 24 December.
"Huge revenue is generated on 31st night and therefore we had sought the permission from the state Government ," sources in the State Excise department told The Hindu.
The notification states that those establishments that hold FL 3 or (Foreign Liquor Licence 3 ) can serve liquor until 5 a.m. and wine shops which hold FL2 ( Foreign Liquor Licence 2) can remain operational until 1 a.m.
While there is a generic alert sounded by the intelligence agencies and Mumbai police have also expressed their apprehensions for such permission, they are now preparing to gear up for the D-day.
"Mumbai and Pune are always put on high alert during festive season. Security on News year's eve is a huge concern and an elaborate plan has been drawn up for the same," a senior officer told The Hindu.
"We oppose the proposal mooted by the Excise department citing security concerns but since the revenue generated on a single day runs into lakhs of rupees , the permission is granted," said sources. Licence establishments serving liquor post 1.30 a.m. have to pay Rs.250 extra for every extra hour.
Association of Hotel And Restaurant (AHAR) say that every year the police always creates problem while giving the permission.
"This time too though the government gave the permission to serve alcohol on 24th , 25th and 31st , the notification was issued very late and therefore we had to move the court to ensure the police doesn't create any problem, " Suresh Shetty , Vice President of AHAR told The Hindu.
"This is a routine problem. Though the government gives the permission, the police grants the same only by 31st evening. They make us wait for long hours to grant the permissions," added Mr. Shetty.