Mumbai's partying till 5am this New Year. Is Delhi listening?
This New Year is going to be unique for Mumbai: the government has permitted hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars to stay open and serve alcohol till 5am on December 31. Wine shops can also stay open till 1am. But this has triggered, once again, a Mumbai vs Delhi comparison: can't Delhi have the same? Here's what stakeholders have to say.
'Mumbai Police is serious about making the city vibrant'
National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) says it has discussed with Delhi authorities a similar proposal in the past too, but nothing has worked out. Rahul Singh, NRAI president, says it is important police provide adequate security, and the force hasn't disappointed. "In Mumbai the authorities are serious about making the city vibrant," former NRAI president Riyaaz Amlani told TOI.
'Delhi authorities do their best to make nightlife the worst'
NRAI says apart from letting people celebrate with gusto, such a step also helps tourism. "(Mumbai) knows nightlife makes any city popular among tourists and they do everything possible to make nightlife better. Delhi is the opposite. Authorities do their best to make nightlife the worst," says Amlani. "Delhi, being the capital, should lead from the front with a similar goodwill gesture," opines Singh.
'People in Delhi start beating bouncers at 11pm only'
Delhi Police seem hesitant. "In Delhi, the deadline is 1am, and we strictly follow it. We can't allow restaurants to operate beyond the deadline," says PRO Madhur Verma. "Nightlife spots are the target of the mischief mongers, so we have to keep these things in mind," Special Commissioner Dependra Pathak had said earlier. A cop explains: "People here start beating bouncers at 11pm only!"
Can Delhi Police take a cue from their Mumbai counterparts?
"We want Mumbaikars to have fun on December 31, but we also want to ensure their safety," says Inspector SL Kadam from Bandra division, Mumbai. "There will be watertight security across the city. We will also be keeping a lookout for drunk driving."