In a major development, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is considering extending the deadline to change shop signs to Marathi, following repeated appeals from shopkeepers and the restaurant association.

However, the move comes after traders and retail associations welcomed the new chief minister on Tuesday (July 5) and asked for more time, citing the sign’s shortage of performers.

In addition, the Bombay High Court (HC) has ordered the BMC to respond by July 8 to an appeal by the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of India (AHAR) seeking a six-month extension to install Marathi signs in Devanagari writing on shops and establishments in the city.

A divisional bench of Judge RD Dhanuka and Judge MG Sewlikar has been told by Attorney Vishal Thadani of the Petitioners’ Association that he has challenged the validity of the original May 31 deadline set by the civic body.

The HC will hear the argument next Friday, July 8.

The civic body initially set the deadline for May 15, but later extended it to July 1. There are 5.08 lakh stores and establishments registered with BMC.

For those who don’t know, the BMC had decided to implement the Marathi signage policy and issued a circular in the first week of April, after the state government amended the Shops Act and establishments in March 2022, which required that the signs of all shops and establishments must have names written in Marathi, this too large than that in other languages.