The Supreme Court order banning the sale of liquor within 500m of national and state Highways has led to the closure of over 80% of hotels and restaurants of Punjab, the state industry has claimed.
Satish Arora, president, Hotel, Restaurants and Resorts Association of Punjab, said, “There are over 2,700 hotels with bars in Punjab and most are now on the verge of bankruptcy. Most were built on roads to provide easy accessibility, but now this is a major flaw.”
Interestingly, two clubs in Bathinda — Dune’s club chaired by the deputy commissioner and the Civil Lines Club, both within the 500 meters radius of the Bathinda-Mansa highway have closed their bars.
Arora added that the association will challenge the order in court, adding that the industry had lost Rs 150 crore over the past three days.
Other hoteliers say that the state government should denotify state highways on the pattern of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to save the hotel industry.
“Hoteliers should be given compensation of Rs 5,000 per sq feet and two years to relocate, if no solution can be found out,” Arora said, adding that a delegation will soon meet state finance minister Manpreet Badal on the issue.
“Over 30 lakh people have rendered jobless. The state government will also have to refund Rs 800 crore deposited as security by the owners of various hotels,” he claimed.