Gurgaon’s CyberHub to go dry from April 1: SC says 500 metre liquor ban applies to pubs
Haryana excise department has identified 109 pubs and 43 liquor vends in Gurgaon which are located within 500 metres of the state and national highways.Updated: Apr 06, 2017 12:31 IST
It’s curtains down for 34 pubs and bars in Gurgaon’s CyberHub after the Supreme Court on Friday upheld its December 15 order, which mandated that sale of liquor not be allowed within 500 metres of national and state highways.
The apex court has comes as a rude shock to the pub/bars and restaurants that fall in the red zone. The licences of 143 pubs and bars, including 34 in DLF CyberHub, will not be renewed by the excise department.
“We have not received the Supreme Court order yet, but we will comply with its orders. We have already conducted a survey and submitted the report to the headquarters,” said Aruna Singh, deputy excise and taxation commissioner, Gurgaon.
Gurgaon has a large number of bars located within 500 meters of highways, including those in CyberHub, Sector 29 market and Sohna Road.
But the pub/bar owners in CyberHub and Sector 29 claimed that they do not fall within the 500-metre motorable distance.
“We are now working with state departments on identifying the entities which fall under this purview. There will be some busy days ahead for sure,” said Rahul Singh , Haryana chapter head, National Restaurant Association of India.
Ashwani Choudhary, managing director Soi 7 Hospitality, said, “We are safe as the (excise) department will have to measure the motorable distance and the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram(MCG) should measure the distance to submit a fair report.”
If these pubs and bars are closed the state could suffer a loss of Rs 70.81 crore, the revenue earned from these vends.
Now there is no scope of clarity left, the pub/bar owners and shop owners.
The owners are in the panic as this will be a major loss. They have spent crores to set up their business and this order has taken their sleep away.
“Restaurants are being targeted unjustifiably on a liquor vend act. The excise office is unclear on this stand and restaurants are being forced to comply. A restaurant is the safest place for an individual to drink and at least more than three and a half lakh employees face the risk of losing jobs and earnings. CyberHub is facing the highway and it is truly catastrophic for us as a destination food hub to lose our liquor licences,” said Arvind Kumar, general manager, The Wine Company.
The SC order clearly mentions that “No shop for sale of liquor shall be visible from a National or state highway”. They should not be directly accessible from the national or state highway and should be situated within a distance of 500 metres from the outer edge of the road or a service lane along the highway.
“The Supreme court maintained its original order of Decemeber 15, 2016 which banned liquor vends along national and state highways situated at a distance of 500 meters. We are now working with state departments on identifying the entities that fall under this purview. There will be some busy days ahead for sure”, said Rahul Singh , head, Haryana chapter of National Restaurant Association of India.
A number of five-star hotels in Gurgaon such as Oberoi, Trident, Hotel Leela, Westin and Crowne Plaza also fall within the red zone marked by the Supreme Court.
The SC verdict was given keeping in mind road accidents owing to drink driving.
On Friday, the bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice L Nageswara Rao, however, relaxed the ban to 220 metres for towns having less than 20,000 a population which fall along the highways.
First Published: Mar 31, 2017 17:52 IST