30 liquor vends in Ghaziabad yet to be relocated, causing revenue loss
Officials said that the failure to relocate these shops has also dented the revenue, by around Rs6.3 crore, of the district excise department and has affected their target.noida Updated: Sep 17, 2017 21:41 IST
A total of 30 shops of the 59 that were identified in the red zone, as per the Supreme Court order on liquor ban near highways, are yet to be relocated.
Officials said that the failure to relocate these shops has also dented the revenue, by around Rs6.3 crore, of the district excise department and has affected their target.
“Initially, a total of 59 shops that fell under the ambit of apex court order were identified. A total of 29 shops could be relocated while premises was not identified for the rest, due to many reasons. Many of the shop owners have not been able to find suitable premises due to opposition from locals,” said Gyanendra Tripathi, district excise officer, Ghaziabad.
Of the 30 remaining shops, licences for 16 are of countrymade liquor, five of beer, two of Indian made foreign liquor and seven, of model shops.
The Supreme Court, in its order issued on December 15, 2016, cited increasing incidents of drink driving and accidents on highways as reasons for the order. The court had directed all states and Union territories to stop issuing a licence for sale of liquor along national and state highways.
The court had directed that no liquor vends must be visible from a national/state highway or be directly accessible from a highway or situated within 500 metres of its outer edge. The court had also made it clear that hotels, pubs and restaurants in the vicinity that serve alcohol will have to take it off the menu.
Overall in six districts of western Uttar Pradesh, including Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar, nearly 619 shops were covered under the Supreme Court order.
Further, facing opposition from locals, two licensed liquor shops at Govindpuram and Daulatpura near GT Road, shut operations and have remained closed for four to five months.
“There have been several meetings with residents of both localities but they have not accepted the proposal and have not allowed the shops to open or resume operations. The shops have been closed for months now and also leading to revenue loss for the department,” Tripathi said.
According to officials, they are already lagging behind in terms of meeting their target. For the current financial year, the department has a target of Rs955 crore. However, the department has only been able to achieve around 28% of the assigned target in the first five months of the financial year.