IN A major victory for the Shiv Sena, the party’s push for restaurants on rooftops in the city has found mention in the draft Development Control Regulations released by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
The proposal had been put on hold for over a year after it was dragged into a tussle between the Sena and the BJP.
As part of the DC Regulations chapter on general building requirements, the BMC on Tuesday said restaurants will be allowed on the terraces of fully commercial buildings, including residential hotels.
The approval comes with certain conditions that will prohibit any kind of construction – either temporary or permanent. The restaurants, however, will be allowed to build a service platform and a toilet block.
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The rooftop restaurants can be housed on terraces accessible by a common staircase or elevator. Kitchens will not be
The idea for rooftop restaurants was first mooted by Samajwadi Party leader Farhan Azmi and supported by Yuva Sena president Aditya Thackeray in keeping with his initiative to enhance the city’s nightlife by allowing pubs and restaurants to remain open all night.
On Tuesday, though Thackeray welcomed the inclusion of the rooftop restaurants in the DC Regulations, he told The Indian Express that certain measures would have to be taken in view of safety.
“Safeguards such as garbage segregation, fire safety audits, legal structures, structural audit would have to be taken,” he said.
He also added that measures would have to be taken to ensure that no resident living within 300 metre of the proposed rooftop restaurant would be inconvenienced in any way.
Thackeray also raised concerns over whether rooftop restaurants would be allowed to remain open at night as well.
“Going by the trend, I hope the government doesn’t mandate the rooftops to be only allowed during the day as apparently even affordable eateries at night are a sin. This is only a mention in the proposed DP from the DP committee and lot of suggestions and objections will be placed by the corporators in the BMC. I’m sure all the
concerns raised by some parties who opposed them have been addressed,” he said, indicating at the BJP’s opposition to the original concept of rooftop restaurants as well as to his nightlife policy.
Calling it a reason to celebrate, Azmi, also a hotelier himself, said the provision for rooftop restaurants would boost tourism in the city. Referring to his own restaurant Koyla, a rooftop space, he said, “With this policy, the BMC has taken a step towards modernising the hospitality sector. The city has become a concrete jungle for the people and they don’t just want to be indoors. We have a lot of outdoor space and the people want to breathe fresh air outdoors which will be accessible to people from all walks of life.”
Azmi lauded the elimination of the role of the police in the policy adding that food trucks was next on the list.
The proposal had been tabled in the improvements committee meeting last year which deferred it twice owing to stiff opposition by the BJP leaders who took the stand that it was against the local culture.
Sena corporators, including Raju Pednekar who had supported the idea, had said the policy would prevent rooftop restaurants from operating illegally.
The BMC administration then amended the proposal in March this year in which they specified that the restaurants will only be allowed on top on commercial and hospitality buildings and not on residential or even partly residential buildings.
Apart from generating revenue for the BMC, civic officials said the rooftop restaurants would boost employment.