Nearly two years after announcing its intent to capitalise on Mumbai’s proximity to the sea, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finally approved of a rooftop restaurants policy for the city.
The policy recently received its final nod from municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte and is currently in the process of being drafted as an order.
Among its highlights is the civic body’s decision to abandon the old plan of charging a premium of one per cent on the ready reckoner rate for interested restaurateurs.
“The municipal commissioner has accepted and approved the proposal. We will not charge the initially proposed premium as one per cent of the ready reckoner rate is too high for interested restaurateurs. There is no point in giving a concession and then charging them heavily for it. The civic body will earn as it does from other regular restaurants through the various taxes imposed such as Value Added Tax or Service tax ,” said a senior civic official involved in drafting the policy.
As the corporation in its policy will not allow construction beyond the permissible Floor Space Index limits, approval from the state government to start implementation will not be necessary. It is likely that the order will be issued in a month’s time.
“We hope to see many come forward to take advantage of this scheme. Everywhere in the world you will find such restaurants, so it is about time Mumbai has it too,” the official added.
The rooftop restaurants will follow the same rules as other regular eateries for operational hours.
“The kitchen can either be on the groundfloor or on any of the levels up to the 12th floor. Carrying cooking gas cylinders upstairs is prohibited and we have noted that many hotels do not have piped gas,” the official said.
The BMC has also restricted the installation of a canopycovering over the terrace emphasizing that the establishment must be left open-to-sky. “Except for the four months of the monsoon season such coverings are restricted. Owners will have to look into the safety aspects themselves for issues such as the height of the railing around the terrace,” an official said.