Mumbai will soon see shops, malls, and eateries stay open through the night. Citing the example of Indore's Sarafa market and cities like London, Maharashtra tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray said that Mumbai, the commercial capital of the country, should stay open for tourists and residents. The proposal is to be implemented on a pilot basis in areas like the Bandra-Kurla Complex, Kala Ghoda, Nariman Point, etc, from January 26. It will not be compulsory for shopkeepers to comply, but given how Mumbai is up and about all 24 hours of the day, it is hard to see shops and commercial establishment owners passing up the opportunity to profit from this.
The proposal is a progressive one, given how the extended business hours would mean more profits for shopkeepers, and more options in terms of time to shop for the masses. For white-collar workers who work late into the evening, this should prove a manna from heaven. It should also translate into greater safety for women since the hustle and bustle of a city open at night, as opposed to deserted spaces, means there is a lower chance of crimes against women, which are often crimes of opportunity. Moreover, it would mean greater employment since shopkeepers would hire more people to work in different shifts. But, it would also need the city's utilities and security force (the police) to be commensurately beefed up at night. Depending on the success of the pilot, it should be extended to other major cities in the state if there is a demand for this. And, based on Mumbai's experience, perhaps, other metros will look at staying open at night instead of imposing illogical shut-down times.