Highway liquor ban: Chandigarh hoteliers claim Rs 3 crore loss in first weekend | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Highway liquor ban: Chandigarh hoteliers claim Rs 3 crore loss in first weekend

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s order of banning sale of liquor within 500m of national and state highways that came into effect from April 1, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Chandigarh has claimed that the hospitality industry has suffered a loss of more than Rs 3 crore.

punjab Updated: Apr 03, 2017 09:29 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Employees of bars in Chandigarh holding candles and placards during a silent protest in Sector 26 against the implementation of the Supreme Court’s booze ban order on Sunday.
Employees of bars in Chandigarh holding candles and placards during a silent protest in Sector 26 against the implementation of the Supreme Court’s booze ban order on Sunday.(Anil Dayal/HT Photo)

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s order of banning sale of liquor within 500m of national and state highways that came into effect from April 1, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Chandigarh has claimed that the hospitality industry has suffered a loss of more than Rs 3 crore.

“This weekend, the hospitality industry in Chandigarh will have incurred a loss of more than Rs 3 crore. We will protest at the Sector 17 Plaza on Monday,” said Arvinder Pal Singh, the president of the association.

He added that the association also planned to request the UT administration to declare the stretch from Sectors 35-43 — national highway 5 part of the route towards Ludhiana — as a ‘major district road’.

The association will meet senior officials from the UT administration and hand over a memorandum.

“We will meet the deputy commissioner, the UT adviser and if required, we will approach the UT administrator as well and hand over a memorandum,” he added.

“The order has hit nearly 150 restaurants, bars and other commercial establishments in the tricity. In Chandigarh, there are 88 such establishments, of which 63 are bars and 25 are beer bars,” Singh added.

“I have never seen such a dull weekend. We cater to more than 600 people during weekends. This time, there were only a couple of families who visited. We cannot run our business like this,” said a manager from a restaurant and bar in Sector 26, Chandigarh.

Employees at hotels in Sector 35 also shared similar tales.

A ‘collateral damage’ of the development has been the vendors outside the city’s main ‘watering holes’.

“I have been selling eatables for the past five years. I have never seen such a dull market. People do come, but after inquiry do not have anything and leave,” said a vendor.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal has extended its support to the demand of Hotels and Restaurant Industry of exemption from the liquor ban imposed by Supreme Court.

“A resolution was also unanimously passed supporting the Hotel and Restaurant industry of Chandigarh, on the verge of closure, after the Supreme Court ban of no liquor within 500m from national and state highways,” a statement said.

CANDLE LIGHTING PROTEST

All outlets hit by the decision of the Supreme Court on liquor ban near state and national highways organised a protest by lighting candles outside their bars, pubs, restaurants in Sectors 26, 8, 9 and 35. “We have to close our bar and will soon become jobless,” said the manager of a city-based beer bar.

‘DECLARE SECTOR 35-43 STRETCH MAJOR DISTRICT ROAD’

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Chandigarh will request the UT administration to declare the stretch from Sectors 35-43 — NH-5 part of the route towards Ludhiana — as a ‘major district road’.