SC liquor ban: Wall rises, vanishes once Gurgaon pubs, bars get clearance
The two-and-a-half feet wall was erected with jersey barriers and bricks two days before the authorities started measuring distance of pubs in Sector 29 market, from the highway.gurgaon Updated: Apr 25, 2017 16:02 IST
A wall blocking the main access road, connecting a service lane of Delhi-Gurgaon expressway (NH-8) and the Sector 29 market, went down on Monday morning, the day 15 pubs and bars in the area got excise department’s nod to restart operations.
The demolition of the two-and-a-half feet wall came after Harman Singh Sidhu, the Chandigarh resident who was behind the petition that led to liquor ban on highways, wrote to Gurgaon commissioner of police and Haryana Urban Development Authorities (Huda) on April 21, seeking action against those who erected it.
An email from Huda head office in Panchkula, to the authority’s Gurgaon administrator, sought to “take action to remove the unauthorised encroachments (on road) as pointed out by the complainant”.
The wall was erected with jersey barriers and bricks only two days before the authorities measured the distance of pubs and bars in Sector 29 market from the edge of the NH-8 service lane. The measuring was done on April 13.
The wall blocked the main access road to the Sector 29 market. Authorities measured the distance from two other routes, while overlooking the blocked road.
“The wall was erected to make a one-way for decongesting Sector 29 market. The staff removed the wall on Monday after directions from the head office,” said Yashpal Yadav, Huda administrator in Gurgaon.
Sidhu said he might approach the court in the matter. “I cannot stand the Supreme Court order being violated just 20 kms away (in Gurgaon). It would be for the respect and dignity of the SC order,” he said.
The excise department on Monday gave clearance to 30 pubs and bars, including 15 in Sector 29 and 11 in Ambience Mall, to start operations as they were found to be beyond distance of 500 metres from the NH-8. The outlets were closed since April 1.
The Supreme Court had banned the sale of liquor within 500 metres of national and state highways after the high fatality rate in road accidents and the menace of drink driving was brought to the court’s notice.
Meanwhile, HC Dahiya, deputy excise and taxation commissioner (west) said, “We received the email from our headquarters on Monday evening to renew liquor licenses as per the policy guidelines. They (pubs) can start serving the liquor.”
The committee members had already given the green signal for these outlets on April 21 and Gurgaon deputy commissioner Hardeep Singh had emailed the report to the excise and taxation commissioner.