In less than 48 hours of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India’s (HRAWI) meeting with the Mumbai Municipal Commissioner, the BMC has granted restaurants in the city the permission to remain open until 11:30 pm. Post the lift on lockdown, restaurants were allowed to operate only up till 10 pm. However, in their recent meeting among other concerns, delegates of the HRAWI impressed upon the Commissioner the reasons for permitting restaurants to operate for extended timings. The restaurant industry has welcomed the decision and the HRAWI has thanked Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, State Minister of Tourism and Environment Aaditya Thackeray, and especially, Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal.
“We thank the government and especially, the Municipal Commissioner for sympathising with us. We are also thankful to him for expeditiously granting restaurants the permission to operate for an extended time. Most Mumbaikars work late into the evening and can make it to a restaurant only after 8 pm or 9 pm. Also, restaurants are trying to recover after almost seven months of remaining completely shut for dine-in. This extension will definitely encourage Mumbaikars to dine-out and give restaurants a chance to recover and serve its customers better,” says Sherry Bhatia, president, HRAWI.
In its recent meeting with the Municipal Commissioner, the HRAWI also put forth the hospitality industry’s concerns about:
1. Property Tax waiver for hotels requisitioned by the BMC
2. Correct remuneration for hotels requisitioned by the BMC
3. Utilisation of rooftop space in hotels and restaurants
“We are extremely thankful to the Municipal Commissioner and are overwhelmed with his swift resolution on extension of timings. Even during our recent meeting, he was receptive, immediately understood our concerns and assured his support. He backed the industry’s cause to enable it to ride through this most difficult period. The delegation also highlighted other issues including seeking permission to serve in adjacent and attached open spaces and, about the delayed payments to hotels requisitioned by BMC for almost seven months. The Commissioner has assured us that he will look into all the issues and try to resolve them at the earliest,” says Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, immediate past president & spokesperson, HRAWI.