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BMC gives nod to rooftop restaurants in malls with a rider

Saturday, November 4, 2017, 11:00 Hrs  [IST]

As per a report in The Free Press Journal, Ajoy Mehta, BMC Commissioner on Wednesday took the long pending decision of allowing roof-top restaurants in commercial malls and residential hotels like lodge in Mumbai city, a concept of Aditya Thackeray, Yuva Sena Chief. Surprisingly, the draft policy was vehemently opposed by Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP). The BMC administration, taking into account the suggestions given by all party group leaders, has approved the policy for final implementation. A senior civic officer from the Municipal Secretary department has remarked that it’s only a draft policy and would be implemented only after the approval from the corporation which consists of 227 corporators who represent the city.

While appreciating the move of the BMC on rooftop restaurant policy Adarsh Shetty, President of the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR) said, “We are really happy that the BMC has passed this proposal which we (AHAR) were pursuing for years.” In addition, Aditya Thackeray congratulated all for supporting the proposal on his official Twitter account. He tweeted, “I thank everyone involved in this process, the one who gave suggestions when the Mayor and I met the group leaders." Also in another tweet he stated, “This will help Mumbai big time. It will boost tourism, employment and revenue of state. I am glad the BMC has opened our city up to it.”

For the grant of permission for rooftop restaurants in Mumbai the civic corporation has stated Mumbai is one of the popular business and tourist hub of the country, which attracts national and international tourists. Also, the main attraction in Mumbai is the ocean front. Therefore, there is a growing demand to have eating places in line with many other countries in the world such as restaurants on rooftops and on the ocean front. It further states, “The places adjoining the sea shores such as promenades and Chowpatty are not permissible for eating place. However, the rooftop restaurants may be considered on certain terms and conditions so as to provide quality service to tourists and to the locals. Such facilities if permitted would generate employment opportunities for the youth and enhance Mumbai’s beauty.”

In addition, the policy is not permissible where part or pocket terraces are approved as refugee area. Also, hoteliers have to get compulsory no objection certificate from chief Mumbai fire officer (CFO). Apart from this, the BMC has also made it clear that all those hotels where the distance of their terrace edge and the residential buildings if less than ten metres, to them rooftop restaurants permission would not be given. “AHAR and HRAWI are thankful to the Ajoy Mehta, Chief Minister, Rahul Shewale, Aditya Thackeray, and Rais Sheikh of Samajwdi Party who were instrumental in facilitating the open terrace permissions.

“We are happy that the Government is doing its bit in encouraging tourism. It has been our plea to unlock the huge potential that terraces offer by allowing them to be operated as leisure or recreational spaces. Sky Bars and Rooftop Cafes are an emerging trend across the world and Mumbai despite being the commercial capital of India lacked the policy for allowing these activities. This is a welcome decision which many International tourists as well as Mumbaikars will appreciate,” said Dilip Datwani, president, hotel and restaurant association of Western India (HRAWI).

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