Mumbai, Sep 4 (PTI) Welcoming the Maharashtra government's move to fully reopen hotels, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India's (HRAWI) on Friday urged the government to allow restaurants to re-open with dine-in services as well.
The association had written to the state government seeking relaxations for the hospitality industry, including the re-opening of restaurants and also allowing hotels to operate at 100 per cent capacities, HRAWI said in a statement.
'While the government has given a nod to the later, the former request did not find any mention in the order on August 31,' the statement added.
HRAWI said the industry has appreciated the government's decision to allow hotels to operate with full capacity but is pressing on it to consider allowing restaurants to re-open with dine-in services as well.
'We are glad that the Maharashtra government has allowed 100 per cent capacity utilisation for hotels in the state. Restaurants inside hotels are allowed to open for only in-house guests,' HRAWI President Gurbaxish Singh Kohli said.
He, however, said this still leaves the industry half submerged. Restaurants are the backbone of the hospitality industry and kick-starting restaurant operations with dine-in services is the need of the hour for the state, especially when restaurants across the country have been allowed to reopen except in Maharashtra, it added.
No other industry has been as severely hit as the hospitality industry, and hotels and restaurants across the country are grappling with several challenges ranging from loss of revenues to piling debts, bankruptcy and shortage of staff to business survival, he added.
'Although the order does remedy the issue of limited occupancy for hotels but it continues to impose a limit on the number of people allowed at social gatherings such as for marriage functions. We have asked that the number of persons allowed for meetings and social gatherings be linked to the size of the venues or halls,' HRAWI Vice-President Pradeep Shetty stated.
He added that many hotels and restaurants have large banquet halls and open spaces to host larger gatherings while maintaining the required social distancing norms.
HRAWI has also urged the state government to allow sale of liquor at restaurants as has been allowed in other states like Delhi, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, and Goa.
It has also recommended that adjoining and adjacent open spaces and terraces be used for restaurants.
The association has also requested the Maharashtra government for releasing the compensation for the requisitioned hotels for services rendered by them for accommodating doctors, essential services workers, quarantined persons and other governmental staff over the past five months. PTI SM HRS