In a bid to avoid closure of liquor vends in the city in the wake of the Supreme Court order, the UT administration has amended its earlier notification and declared the state highways as ‘major district roads’.
As per a notification issued nearly 20 years ago, all major roads in the city were state highways and fell within the ambit of the SC judgment. The court had directed all states and union territories to close liquor vends on all national and state highways.
The administration also made it clear that no liquor vends will be allowed 500 metres from either side of the Madhya Marg and the Dakshin Marg. While the Madhya Marg passes through Sectors 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 26, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 27 and 28, the Daskhin Marg runs through Sectors 38, 37, 36, 35, 34, 49, 59, 58, 57, 56, 55 and 54. Also roads passing through 43, 42, 22, 21 and 20 will have no vends.
Nearly 20 liquor vends may have to be shifted from these sectors to other places.
The UT administration had constituted a four-member committee to review the classification of roads. The committee comprising UT chief engineer Mukesh Anand, chief architect Kapil Setia, MC chief engineer NP Sharma and assistant excise and taxation commissioner Rakesh Popli gave a green signal to de-notify these roads and later the report was also endorsed by the district attorney (DA) Legal.
Sources in the UT administration said that UT is now mulling to reframe the norms governing the district highways. The roads in Chandigarh have been classified into seven categories from V1 to V7. V1 is a fast road connecting the city with other towns), V2 is arterial road, V3 is a fast vehicular sector dividing road, V4 is a meandering shopping street, V5 is a sector circulation road,V6 is an access road to houses and V7 is a footpath and cycle track.
Petitioner to take up matter in SC
The petitioner in the case, Harman Sidhu of NGO ArriveSAFE, said, “Chandigarh has set an example as how to defeat the apex court’s order. Now, the same example will be followed by other states also. I will take up the matter in the Supreme Court during the next hearing on March 20.”