Two ambitious schemes of the Shiv Sena and the Thackeray family - the Ten-Rupee-Thali and Mumbai 24x7 were launched coinciding with the 71st Republic Day festivities. A Thali is priced at Rs 10 for the poor was the brainchild of Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray - a promise that he made during the 2019 annual Dusshera rally, the Mumbai nightlife or Mumbai 24x7 was being pursued by his son Aaditya, who is the Tourism Minister.
The Ten-Rupee-Thali was formally launched in Mumbai besides Thane, Pune and Nashik districts. In Mumbai, Aditya, who is the Guardian Minister for Mumbai Suburban inaugurated the scheme at the Bandra Collector's office, Mumbai City Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh inaugurated a centre at the civic-run Nair Hospital.
The meal is popularly being referred to as the Shiv Bhojan or Shiv Thali - and is part of the common minimum programme of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
The Thali comprises of two chapatis, one vegetable, rice and dal. Each canteen would be capable of churning out 500 plates. The pilot scheme would run for three months. In 1995, the then Shiv Sena-BJP government tarted Zunka Bhakar at Rs 1 but it ran into controversy for various reasons and ceased to exist. Inaugurating the scheme, Aditya said: "The goal of the scheme is to provide affordable food to all, irrespective of caste, creed, religion and financial status," he said.
The Mumbai 24x7 scheme too came into force. In fact, on Saturday midnight, some of the malls and multiplexes carried out a trial run.
Speaking about the scheme, Dilip Datwani, Immediate Past President, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) said: "This is a long-awaited demand from the hotel and tourism industry and, finally, after almost two decades our demands have been met. This will give a big fillip to business in Mumbai and has tremendous potential to transform the tourism landscape of the city. It was a decision which could not have been deferred any longer. This will add more jobs in the hotel and tourism industry and will have an overall positive impact on the economy. Mumbai could be a model city in this regard and provide a roadmap to the rest of the country."
However, the state Excise rules would remain the same - which means that bars and pubs would not be allow to function throughout the night. The proposal would allow malls, multiplexes and eateries to function in designated areas round-the-clock. Meanwhile, McDonald's in select places have decided to start 24-hour operations.
Speaking on the development, Saurabh Kalra, Senior Director – Strategy and Operations, Westlife Development, said: “We at Westlife are very excited about this move and believe that this will truly make Mumbai the maximum city. It will help boost business for brands and generate employment as well. McDonald’s restaurants in many parts of the globe operate 24X7 stores and have seen significant success. We hope to replicate the same in Mumbai.”