Pune’s liquor establishments likely to reopen soon
In its order, the Supreme Court has observed that, the purpose of the directions contained in the order dated 15 December 2016 is to deal with the sale of liquor along and in proximity of highways properly understood, which provide connectivity between cities, towns and villages.pune Updated: Aug 29, 2017 15:40 IST
The state excise department is likely to issue an order for restarting the liquor shops and restaurants in a day or two, said official sources. The state excise department, according to officials, has got a feedback from the law and judiciary department after interpreting the order issued by the Supreme Court clarifying that the ban on liquor served within 500 metres of state and national highways does not apply within city limits.
“The order to allow liquor establishments to start functioning once again will come tomorrow or day after,” Mohan Varde, superintendent of State Excise (Pune) told Hindustan Times. Once the order is issued, liquor establishments will start operating immediately as most of them have already paid the annual license renewal fees, added Varde.
In its order, the Supreme Court has observed that, “The purpose of the directions contained in the order dated 15 December 2016 is to deal with the sale of liquor along and in proximity of highways properly understood, which provide connectivity between cities, towns and villages. The order does not prohibit licensed establishments within municipal areas. This clarification shall govern other municipal areas as well. We have considered it appropriate to issue this clarification to set at rest any ambiguity.”
In Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, around 600 establishments stopped serving liquor due to the SC ban while 1600 establishments have been affected in the district. Post May, the State Excise in different operations further shut down liquor serving establishments in areas such as Jungli Maharaj Road, Fergusson College Road, and Bund Garden area.
According to excise department officials, the consumption of liquor have also come down by almost 20 % since April. The hoteliers lament that the government has adopted different approach for Pune while highways have been denotified elsewhere in the state. The hotel association office-bearers said that despite a letter from PMC to the government, no action has been taken so far to denotify the highways. “More than 80,000 people have lost their jobs. The government should now act immediately after this fresh clarification from the SC,” said Shetty. According to hoteliers association, most people who have lost their jobs as shops stopped serving liquor have returned to their native place as the survival became tough for them in Pune.