Bar and pub owners affected by the Supreme Court directions to ban sale of liquor within 500 metres of state and national highways are using different means for measuring the distance after the advocate general of Haryana clarified that motorable, and not aerial distance, would be the yardstick.
With a number of bars and restaurants falling in the red zone, the affected owners are making their staff measure the distance from the edge of the highway to the establishment or using Google Maps to find out if they would be impacted by the ban.
The advocate general was asked to clarify the Supreme Court judgment after bar/pub owners questioned its purview.
Although the bar and pub owners have decided to file a public interest litigation seeking relief from the Supreme Court order, they are also trying to ascertain whether their property is safe or not.
“We have calculated the motorable distance using Google Maps, and Star Mall, Sector 30, is 900 metres from the main carriageway. So we are safe,” said RN Rathi, director of Nainkasi brewery in Sector 30.
Many of the pubs and bar owners have roped in technical persons to find out the distance from the edge of the highway to their establishments. “I am planning to hire a team of technical persons and I also get legal advice on the issue. Our bar is on the edge of the 500 metre area. But it is in the heart of a large market and it would be inappropriate to close it,” said an owner requesting anonymity.
Another owner is factoring the distance from the edge of the highway by taking into account the U-turn and the distance travelled in both directions to reach the bar in Sector 15 Part 2. Even more worried are the bar and pub owners in the CyberHub where there is confusion whether the edge of the highway is to be calculated from the main causeway or the service lane.
“We assume that we are safe as the DLF CyberHub is 513 metres from the highway and many would be even more farther. The excise department had come to measure the distance, though they have not disclosed to us what the status is,” said Arvind Kumar GM, The Wine Company, CyberHub.
Aruna Singh, deputy excise and taxation officer, Gurgaon, said, “We have started measuring the distance and the process is still ongoing. The licences have to be renewed after March 31 and we still have time to complete the survey.”