The district administration has asked the pub/bar owners to submit their affidavits by Monday so that any lingering doubts on whether their establishments fall within 500 metres of state or national highways are erased and proper measurements could be taken to enable them to carry on with their trade or shift elsewhere.
Hardeep Singh, deputy commissioner Gurgaon, held a meeting on Saturday with excise officials and gave the directive. Singh had earlier formed two teams, but on the direction of chief secretary of Haryana, the teams have been combined. Now, the combined team will comprise officials from such agencies as the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), PWD, town and country planning and B & R department, excise, police, and the revenue department.
“We have asked the affected pub/bar owners to submit affidavits so that we can start measuring the motorable distance from Monday. The state is already suffering huge revenue losses due to the Supreme Court order banning the sale of liquor within 500 metres of state and national highways. We will comply with the order and will do justice to all those affected by it,” Singh said.
The excise department has already started receiving the requests from pub and bar owners for measurement.
“We have started receiving requests from the affected pub/bars to measure the (motorable) distance and we will start doing that from Monday,” HC Dahiya, deputy excise and taxation commissioner(West), said.
A committee has been formed to enforce the Supreme Court’s ruling. Though, the committee members had visited CyberHub, Sector 29 and Sohna Road on April 1 and stopped the sale of liquor in pubs and bars falling within 500 metres of state or national highways.
However, the pub/bar owners alleged that nowhere in the order is there an explicit mention of lounges, pub, bars, and hotels. “We have spoken to the members of NRAI (National Restaurant Association of India), who are looking into the matter. They are in touch with the ministry concerned for further clarification on this. Till then, we can only wait and hope for some relief,” Ashwini Choudhary, director, Soi 7 Group, said.
“The directions referred to are the ones mentioned in a judgment on December 15, 2016, and there is no reference to hotels, bars, and restaurants. Accordingly, there was no occasion to seek any clarification as the Supreme Court as it did not say that hotels, restaurants, and bars fall within the ambit of this judgment. These are only passing references and not legally binding,” Rahul Singh, head of the Haryana chapter of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), said.
The excise officials had taken note of the inventory and seized the liquor in stock at these watering holes. The stock is now in the custody of the excise department.