SC liquor ban: Fate of watering holes on Mehrauli-Gurgaon road hangs in balance
Fate of bars and pubs on the MG Road could also be in danger after the Supreme Court ban on liquor as this road is listed as a national highway on the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) website. Though this road is being maintained by the state PWD department, a number plan of the highway authority shows it as highway number 236.
The confusion over the status of the road has prompted the district administration to write a letter seeking clarification on it. In case the NHAI confirms that this road has been notified as a national highway there could be trouble for the malls and commercial complexes on the Mall Mile, which houses a number of bars and similar properties along it.
To clear the confusion over the status of the road, Hardeep Singh, deputy commissioner, Gurgaon has written a letter to the NHAI on Wednesday seeking clarity on the road. “We want to know the exact status of the road as the NHAI site has listed it on the website. Once the highways authority tells us the exact situation we will go ahead with the ban,” said Singh.
As per the NHAI plan of decongesting Delhi, which was developed under previous chairman Raghav Chandra in 2016, the MG Road has been listed as NH-236, and it will be part of the link road connecting Ambience Mall with Aya Nagar on the Gurgaon-Mehraul road (NH236).
A senior NHAI official admitted that the road could be listed as highway but might not have been notified by the highway ministry, and this could be a lacuna. There is also a possibility that this road has been notified but its maintenance is in state government hand. “This will need to be checked at the headquarters,” he said, on condition of anonymity.
Singh, however, said that the confusion will end once the clarification comes in.
Lot of confusion already prevails over the measurement of motorable distance from the edge of the highway and if MG Road also comes under the purview of the apex court order then the city could witness a major upheaval for the liquor industry.
Already around 200 bars and liquor vends along National Highway 8 and Sohna Road have been stopped from selling liquor by the excise department. The move has badly impacted the business in Cyber Hub, Sector 29, Sohna road and at many luxury hotels close to the these highways in Gurgaon. A number of restaurants at these food hotspots in the city have already downed shutters as ban on liquor has reduced the footfall to the area.