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SC liquor ban: Hoteliers to take up matter with Centre, state govts

gurgaon Updated: Apr 02, 2017 23:48 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times

Members of hotels and restaurant associations address the media on Sunday.(Parveen Kumar/HT)

The hoteliers, pubs and bar owners of Delhi-NCR decided on Sunday to take up the matter of liquor ban within 500 meters of highways with the Centre and the state governments on Monday.

Affected by the Supreme Court ruling, the members of various hotel and restaurant associations held a meeting at The Oberoi, in Gurgaon on Sunday to discuss the challenges they are facing and its effects on the economy. The members said they have fixed meetings with officials in the Centre and state governments on Monday across the country to discuss the clarity on the motorable distance.

The members instead demanded stricter implementation on drunken driving and said that discipline on the road is must which is missing at the moment. The members alleged that the biggest concern coming out of the order is the loss of employment which will tear the industry and also hit the foreign tourism.

“Reallocating a liquor vend is easy but how can a hotel be moved from the place. The order has not only impacted the industry but to the city development and it’s charm. A city is defined by the culture and the outing places and Gurgaon had many options which were on the national highway and will be closed”, said Manbeer Choudhary, president, Hotel and restaurant association of Haryana.

Read I Gurgaon DC forms panels to enforce SC’s liquor ban order

Also, the one-day liquor permit license which was in demand for the marriage functions is another major revenue loss to the government as well as the industry, the members said.

“Most of the marriage places are on state highways and people take liquor license to serve liquor to their guests. Without liquor, the parties and the marriage functions will lose the charm and the business of these places will decrease resulting in heavy losses as people have invested heavily in establishing these structures”, said Ankur Bhatia, director Bird Hospitality.

A number of hoteliers, pub and bar owners including members of World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), National restaurant association of India (NRAI), The Federation of Hotel & Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI) and Hotel & Restaurant Association of Haryana (HRAH) and travel agents like IATO met here on Sunday to discuss the SC ban on liquor near highways.

“The Tourism impact that will come through for India, so many global movements are expected, many are coming to Delhi and Gurgaon and how will be able to serve them. We cannot tell the guests that sorry we cannot serve you wine or glass of beer. That choice has always been the guest, we just had a discussion on what we can really do keeping the guidelines of the SC, we are trying to analyze the judgment”, said Kapil Chopra, president of The Oberoi Hotels and former chairman of WTTC.

The members of the different sectors will approach their government authorities who will for sure work out for their relief and some decision would be taken in favour.

First Published: Apr 02, 2017 23:48 IST