Need 6,500 more police personnel for Mumbai 24x7: police commissioner

Malls, stores, restaurants, multiplexes, salons and all establishments that do not serve alcohol can now stay open 24x7 in the city if an additional 6,500 police personnel are recruited, Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve is believed to have told Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

The proposal to relax norms has met with stiff opposition from the police, who maintain that even if they remove just a part of the security provided to VVIPs and senior IPS officers, only 600 additional police would be added to the force. “The CP (Commissioner of Police) has informed in writing to the State Government that additional 6,500 staff be recruited if the proposed Mumbai 24x7 has to fully open up. The Mumbai Police has maintained it would be a difficult task to provide law and order if Mumbai is made to stay awake all night,” said a senior IPS officer.

Maharashtra Environment and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray had last week reignited his proposal for Mumbai’s night life, which has been discussed by the industry and tourism sectors with the State government many times.

In 2017, the BJP government had announced scrapping of drinking permits on the basis of a report submitted by Accenture, which was commissioned by the State government. Abolition of permit rooms and permits for drinking, joint grant of operational and construction permits, and cutting down permissions from current 142 to just 20 in the future were among the recommendations in the Accenture report.

However, the Mumbai Police had objected to the proposal then. A note from the Maharashtra Home Department had asked the then Mumbai Police Commissioner to speak with the Municipal Commissioner to identify select spots where night life could be opened up. But this did not happen.

Of the 71 permissions required at the operational level by bars and restaurants, Accenture had identified many as insignificant and recommended that of the 142 licences, 29 should be merged and the remaining 113 be brought down to 20.

On Wednesday the Cabinet will discuss the proposal to keep restaurants open in select locations in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and Ballard Pier.

Accenture’s report had predicted that tourist expenditure in Mumbai will double, and so would their average length of stay in Mumbai — from two days for domestic tourists, and four for foreign tourists — once the plan is implemented.

The average tourist expenditure per day in 2017 was ₹6,718 for overseas and ₹3,141 for domestic tourists in the city. The report predicted a rise in tourist expenditure and a subsequent rise in employment opportunities from the existing 60 million (direct, indirect) jobs generated by the tourism sector in Maharashtra.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 19, 2021 3:05:21 AM |

Next Story