The Rajasthan’s Public Works Department has declared that it will denotify state highways as urban roads in order to circumvent the Supreme Court order banning liquor shops within 500 metres of state and national highways. Earlier also, the Rajasthan government had redesignated state highways as urban roads to avoid SC’s order.
Last December, the Supreme Court had passed an order, putting a ban on the sale of liquor along national and state highways within a range of 500 meters. It had also directed the government authorities to desist from issuing the license after March 31. The ban extends to hotels, bars and restaurants selling liquor and the order was issued in the backdrop of road accidents happening on the highways due to drunken driving.
The ban has hit the employment quotient in many states, so much that the hoteliers and restaurant owners had gathered to stage a protest against the Supreme Court’s order in Chandigarh. In Jharkhand, there all liquor shops were shut down along the highways on Saturday. As per the PTI reports, Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Maharashtra’s excise minister has said that as a result of the ban on the sale of liquor on the highways, the government will lose Rs 7,000 crore.
In Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, government’s modification in the order has allowed the liquor shops along the highways to operate until September 30 and June 30, respectively, The Indian Express reported.
As reported, In Kerala around 1,700 stores were forced to shut down. State-run liquor retailers were also hit by the ban so much so that their 148 out of their 311 stores will have to be relocated. In West Bengal, 1,800 will be closed along the highway, which used to bring an annual average of Rs 1,000 crore revenue. In Haryana, the ban will affect the revenue in the worst manner as most of its bars and restaurants, which are around 478, are located close to the highways.