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Party on till 5am this new year’s?

The Mumbai police’s deadline of 12.30am for hotels to shut on New Year’s night has left many hoteliers sleepless.

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The Mumbai police’s deadline of 12.30am for hotels to shut on New Year’s night has left many hoteliers sleepless. They are up in arms against this unhappy beginning to 2011, as they do more business on December 31 night than the rest of the year.

In this bleak scenario, one hotelier who owns about two to three hotels in the city and the suburbs has, however, got lucky. He has got permission from the Bombay high court to keep his hotels open till 5am.

President of the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR) Sudhakar Shetty did not reveal the name of the member who has got the permission. Shetty told DNA: “We will use the [high court] order as a reference when we meet deputy police commissioner (HQ-1) Vijaysingh Jadhav on Tuesday and request him to let all of us keep our hotels open till 5am.”

AHAR members have been running from pillar to post to get permission for celebrations to continue till dawn. But their attempts have all been in vain so far. They met home secretary Medha Gadgil with the same request on Monday. She advised them to consult DCP Jadhav. “We will meet him on Tuesday and do all it takes to get our demand fulfilled,” said Shetty.

In spite of getting clearance from the home department to remain open till 5am on December 24, 25 and 31, hotels in various areas were not allowed to operate beyond 12:30am on Christmas. AHAR members fear the same fate will befall them on New Year’s Eve.

Considering the recent terror alerts in the city, the Mumbai police deem it wise to abide by the early deadline. Police commissioner Sanjeev Dayal, when told about the high court’s order, said, “I am yet to see the court’s order. We will see on what grounds the permission has been granted and then decide the further course of action.”

AHAR members are equally adamant not to let their business suffer. “We are equally concerned about the security of our customers. But is shutting down business a sound solution? We will try and convince DCP Jadhav. If we fail to do so, we still have time to appeal in court,” Shetty told DNA.

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