The long-awaited experiment to keep Mumbai open around the clock started at midnight on January 26th. The "Mumbai 24 Hours" policy aims to ensure that commercial facilities, including shops, restaurants and cinemas, never shut shutters overnight.
The idea was to generate more jobs and income and to make Mumbai a global hotspot like London and New York. However, when NDTV set off for a soil survey on the first day, it was found that many shopping centers were closed in the past.
At the moment, the initiative seems to have caused a mixed reaction among the city's residents. While many welcome the move, they also raise concerns about safety – especially that of women.
"It makes sense that I only keep my company open if there is adequate public response. I am a businessman and I have to keep an eye on my earnings," said Javed, owner of Gamestop at Atria Mall.
While the management of the Atria Mall claims to first implement the "Mumbai 24 hour" routine at the weekend, the brands in the mall have not yet come up with the idea. "The mall is ready, but the brands are not fully prepared because they will take more time to allocate resources. We will keep it open at the weekend because there will be more people," said Jayesh Ketkar, part of Atria's management Mall is.
Although the policy is not mandatory, the government expects support from many agencies. Shop owners say they will consider the possibility of keeping their stores open in the morning after measuring customer frequency.
Security and compliance will be the key to the success of the initiative. While the Excise Department revokes alcohol permits if alcoholic beverages are served in restaurants outside of the specified time, the Mumbai police force needs almost 7,000 additional personnel to monitor the city.
"We have used the support of taxi unions and radio cabins such as Ola and Uber. This will be quite a challenge for us," said Avinash Kumar, deputy police commissioner (zone 3) of the Mumbai police.