With Safety and Security in Place, ‘Mumbai 24 Hours’ Promises a New Lifestyle: Dr Niranjan Hiranandani

Mumbai: The much sought Mumbai 24 Hours policy is finally announced by the state government which shall imply from 25th Jan 2020. The globalization atmosphere is created with the rapid urbanisation in the financial capital of the country. City of Mumbai being truly global in every aspect, this new policy makes it stand at par with its global counterparts. The policy permits retail malls, shopping arena, multiplexes and restaurants in specific defined areas to function round-the-clock, effectively making selective parts of the Metropolis operational 24/7/365.

While Mumbai and Mumbaikars have debated the pros and cons of allowing such activities across a 24/7/365 time zone, the pilot scheme roll-out is here. It features five malls across Mumbai city and suburbs, which have intimated the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) that they will remain open 24×7 from Monday, 27 January 2020. This will bring cheers to ever rising global lifestyle among the Mumbaikar’s and shall boost the tourism in the city. Round the clock food and entertainment facilities will surely ensure a huge influx of domestic and foreign tourists in the city that now will truly never sleep.

With the decentralization of commercial real estate, city has witnessed multiple work spaces mushrooming across several business districts which have now become a thriving hub. The opening up of food and entertainment options across day and night will augur well with the working populace working round the clock in the city. While the move seems positive in terms of enhancing Mumbai’s attractiveness from a tourism perspective, there are other aspects which seem to be positive, be it generation of more jobs (to handle the night-shift) as also increased turnover in turn, enhancing economic growth. From a real estate perspective, this opens up additional opportunities for commercial real estate, especially in locations specified by the policy, which include gated communities in non-residential areas. This will definitely give a boost to commercial real estate across Mumbai, including organized retail as also entertainment and food & beverage outlets in organized retail set-ups. Once the pilot scheme rolls out successfully, we can also expect to have the implementation of ‘Mumbai 24 Hours’ in other areas of Mumbai, hopefully, extending across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) too.

To ensure this happens smoothly, law and order issues as also safety and security concerns will have to be addressed. The initial five malls where the pilot project is being rolled out have their own security services, from CCTV monitoring to human interface, and in theory, would not create safety concerns. The authorities will also closely monitor how the policy translates in terms of actual implementation, and if any gaps remain to be filled in, I am sure the needful will be done. The policy will also ensure that commercial real estate will factor in the 24/7/365 operation aspect, and that on-going as also future projects will be ready for operations across 24 hours. In turn, this will also create the need to ensure social infrastructure and civic amenities – effectively, the entire set-up – to leverage technology in form of the Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) which would ensure Mumbai truly becomes a city that works as per ‘global best practices’.

With safety and security aspects being taken care of, the business opportunities these can generate as also jobs that will be created seem to suggest this will be a win-win for Mumbai. Fun, enjoyment and having a good time, 24/7/365.