In a fresh revelation that can give a major twist to the ongoing legal battle over liquor vends operating in green belts across Gurgaon, an official document says that one of the state government departments has strictly banned setting up of wine shops in protected areas.
In response to a petition seeking ban on liquor vends and ahatas (open-air drinking space abutting these vends) in green belts, the state government has submitted in its affidavit on March 30 that it has not violated any norm in letting the temporary liquor shops function from unused green areas and it is in sync with the state excise policy.
A city court is scheduled to hear the petition filed by MCG councillor Nisha Singh of ward number 30 on Monday.
The government’s affidavit raised ambiguity over the state’s excise policy which has no reference about liquor vends in green areas.
However, Hindustan Times has the access of a departmental guideline of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda), which is one of the respondents in the matter, that clearly prohibits setting up of such vends in green belts.
“The setting up of the liquor vends/shops should not be allowed to operate from open spaces, green belts, parking and parks etc, under no circumstances,” reads a letter dated March 18, 2011 written by the Huda chief administrator DPS Nagal to all the administrators and estate officers of Huda.
Although Nagal refused to comment over his own letter saying “the matter is sub judice”, a senior Huda official in Gurgaon said that the authority has not allowed any permanent structure for vends in green belts and whenever necessary, they can be removed.
About 60 vends have sprung up over the years on green belts.