Under the new excise policy which will come into effect from April 1, 2015, there will be no liquor shops within 100 meters of state highways and national highways in MP.
Under the new policy, all liquor shops will now be situated 100 meters away from the middle of the highway and the entrance of the liquor shop will not open towards the highway.
Now a statewide survey of all the liquor shops that fall within 100 meters of state and national highways has been launched. Officials in Indore said that they too have launched a survey and the situation will become clear within a couple of days.
"We are not sure exactly how many shops are within 100 meters of state and national highways, but according to a rough estimate, there are a dozen such shops in the district," an excise official said.
The excise department has a tough task before it. It will have to find new locations for these shops that run foul to the new policy parameters and setting up a shop in a new place always invites resistance from the locals.
The change in excise policy comes in the wake of a decision by the Jabalpur bench of the high court on a public interest petition in this regard.
It may be mentioned that initially the Punjab and Haryana high court had banned opening of liquor shops near the highway on a PIL as it led to accidents and the Supreme Court had upheld the judgment.
The road safety cell of the Union Ministry of Transport and Highways has already framed its policy under which no shops selling liquor should be opened along highways but this policy was not being followed by states.