80% of shops resume selling liquor along highways in Mumbai
They were shut down for a fortnight following Supreme Court order banning the sale of liquor within 500m of highways.mumbai Updated: Apr 16, 2017 00:33 IST
This weekend Mumbaiites can buy alcohol along highways in the city as 80% of restaurants, bars, pubs and liquor shops along the highways in Mumbai and Thane started selling alcohol from Saturday.
They were shut down for a fortnight following Supreme Court order banning the sale of liquor within 500m of highways.
“The state excise department has started to renew liquor licenses which helped around 80% of our members to
start their operations. The rest will start serving alcohol as soon as they get licenses,” said Adarsh Shetty, Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR) president. “But we are hoping for a better weekend for our members,” he added.
This became possible after the state government on Friday issued a notification denotifying both Eastern Express Highway (EEH) and Western Express Highway (WEH) and handed them over for repair and maintenance to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for five years.
Denotifying the highway means they will officially be treated as city roads. This will enable restaurants and shops to sell alcohol within 500m of them without disobeying the Supreme Court’s directive.
Following the apex court’s order, the state government had cancelled liquor licenses of around 500 establishments in Mumbai on March 31.
Opposition parties have, however, criticised the state government’s move. “This government is more concerned about liquor shops then those who die in road accidents caused by drunk driving,” said Congress leader Sachin Sawant.
The state government is using all the means to save them and unfortunately chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is leading the movement from front,” he alleged.