A large number of restaurants in Sector 29 have closed due to the liquor ban as footfalls declined considerably after the Supreme Court ruling. Sales too have dropped drastically since April 1.
The apex court had recently reiterated that its verdict banning the sale of alcoholic beverages at establishments located within 500 metres of state and national highways will extend to hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars too.
Since then, the footfall at Sector 29 has decreased and people are finding it difficult to find options when they go out as a majority of establishments serving liquor at CyberHub, Sector 29 and Sohna Road are shut.
“We had to shut down as hardly anyone visits just to have food. The market survives only on liquor and without that we cannot operate and survive,” said a senior manager of an outlet in Sector 29.
Employees of such outlets were also worried as their future is uncertain and they do not know how long this situation will prevail. If the shutters remain down for another week, they will lose their jobs.
“I have been working in Gurgaon for the last nine years and it is not possible to get the salary that I am getting here anywhere else. It’s not only a loss to owners and employees, but also of the food and hospitality industry,” said Ajay Sharma, a senior manager of a closed outlet.
The staff was informed through calls and messages that they do not need to come to work for a while. They will join once there is clarity on the future of such establishments. Otherwise, they will have to start looking for other jobs.
“I received a call from my manager on Sunday morning telling me that I didn’t need to come to work as we have closed operations. He had no clue till when we would remain shut,” said Hemant Kumar, a member of the service staff of a prominent restaurant in Sector 29.
Staff members of various pubs and bars said officials of different government agencies have been visiting the establishments since Saturday, but there is no clarity regarding the calculation of the motorable distance from the highways. Those found to be more than 500 metres away from the highways may be able to still reopen and continue operations.