AFTER A year of being deferred twice by the improvements committee, the Shiv Sena-backed proposal of allowing rooftop restaurants on top of the city’s high-rises will be tabled once again by the civic administration later this month. If approved, the policy will give a major boost to Shiv Sena and can make way for many other restaurants which had shut down failing to afford high rentals.
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The improvements committee had shot down the policy last in February 2015 owing to stiff opposition by BJP leaders who had taken a moral stand and called the policy to be against the city’s culture after which the policy had gone into cold storage. While BJP corporators like Prakash Gangadhare had stated that rooftop restaurants would cause inconvenience to residential societies around it, Sena’s Raju Pednekar had said this policy would prevent rooftop restaurants from operating illegally in the city.
Civic officials said they will submit an amended policy to the improvement committee in the coming couple of weeks. “Last time, the proposal had been left open-ended and thus drew criticism. This time, we will specify that the restaurants will only be allowed on top of commercial and hospitality buildings and not on residential or even partly residential buildings,” said a senior civic official. Apart from generating revenue for the BMC, civic officials stated that the rooftop restaurants will also boost employment as well.
Speaking out in support of the policy, Prahlad Kakkar, founder owner of Papa Pancho in Bandra, stated that rooftop eateries can make Mumbai the food capital of the country. “Apart from raw food and the staff, 60 per cent investments are made in paying the rent due to which restaurants unable to make decent profits. Food businesses are being killed by insanely high rentals and this policy can generate a plethora of space,” said Kakkar.
Like many other policies, this policy was also caught in the crossfire between the Shiv Sena and the BJP.