Nearly six months since the Centre, taking note of the rising number of drink driving accidents, advised state governments to shut liquor shops on state and national highways, departments of the Maharashtra government are still passing the buck on its implementation.
This, even though statistics show that Maharashtra witnesses the most road accidents in the country.
“This issue is related to the highway police, they might have done something,” said transport commissioner VN More.
The highway police, on the other hand, insisted it’s the excise department’s job. “The state and excise departments have to enforce the decision,” said Vijay Kamble, additional deputy inspector general, highway police.
The excise department said it was only following the rules. “We are issuing licenses as per the Mumbai Darubandi Act, 1949, but there is no provision in it to remove these shops from highways,” said AS Gharge, deputy secretary of the department.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had in December advised state governments to remove liquor shops from highways. It also asked states not to issue fresh licenses to liquor shops and review those given earlier.