The excise department has issued a notice to owners of 46 liquor vends and two bars that fall within 500 metres of national and state highways in Gautam Budh Nagar and suggested that they relocate to other sites by March 31.
Taking cognizance of the high number of fatalities on highways, the Supreme Court had banned states and union territories from renewing the licence of liquor outlets located within 500 metres of national and state highways, after March 31, 2017.
The prohibition also applies to the stretches of highways that fall within the limits of municipal corporations and other local authorities.
There are 477 liquor vends in the district and 46 of these are situated along national highway (NH)-24, NH-91 and Hamidpur-Sindrabad Road, a state highway. Of the 74 bars running in the district, only two are situated along the national/state highway.
However, liquor vends and bars that fall within 500 metres of the Yamuna Expressway will not be affected by the order. Officials said that the Supreme Court order applies only to state and national highways.
The district excise officer, Kuldeep Yadav, said as per the Supreme Court order, owners of liquor vends and bars falling in the red zone have been directed to provide details of alternative sites for the vends, as they will not be permitted to continue business from the existing locations after March 31.
“Licences for running liquor vends and bars during 2017-18 were renewed in advance due to the ongoing assembly polls in the state. For them to continue their business from April 1, they have to inform us about the alternative sites . We will inspect the new sites and ensure that they meet the excise norms before issuing the licence,” he said.
Yadav said the department has not so far received any reply to the notices issued to the affected licencees. If these liquor vends are closed, the excise department will lose a revenue of nearly Rs 40 crore, he added.
At present, the excise department has not surveyed the number of liquor vends and bars situated within 500 metres of the Yamuna Expressway in the district.
“As the Yamuna Expressway is under the public-private partnership model, it does not fall under any state or national highway and so, the Supreme Court order does not apply to it. If the Supreme Court orders the inclusion of expressways, liquor vends and bars along the Yamuna Expressway will also be covered,” Yadav said.