Liquor shops distance to be measured from approach roads: Goa CM
Chief minister Manohar Parrikar assured he would direct the State Excise Department to amend the Excise Act, so that the distance between the highways and the liquor shops/bars would be calculated on the basis of approachable road.india Updated: Jun 28, 2017 09:15 IST
In a move that could make at least 500 liquor outlets in Goa operational once again, chief minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday assured that the distance between the highways and such shops would be measured on the basis of approachable roads instead of the aerial distance.
The chief minister assured that he would direct the State Excise Department to amend the Excise Act, so that the distance between the highways and the liquor shops/bars would be calculated on the basis of approachable road.
Parrikar gave the assurance here during a meeting of liquor trade associations in the state, who sought his intervention.
The Supreme Court order banning liquor vends along the highways turned 2,200 such outlets in the state non-functional from April. However, Parrikar’s assurance might provide relief to around 500 such shops.
“The Chief Minister assured that he will direct the State Excise Department to amend the Excise Act so that the distance between the highway and the bars would be measured on the basis of approachable roads and not aerial distance,” All Goa Liquor Traders Association President Dattaprasad Naik told reporters.
“If the Excise department counts the distance of 500 metres considering the approachable road as criteria, then 500 more outlets will get relief,” he added.
In many cases approachable roads are at a longer distance from the highways than the GPS mapping shows, he said adding that the re-survey will begin in the next 8 to 10 days.
Naik said that the impact of the SC order on Goa as compared to other states was minimal as only 18 per cent of the total liquor outlets were affected.
“The impact was mitigated as the state government worked out ways to save the liquor shops from getting affected,” he said.
Naik stated that in the last two and half months, several liquor shops were shut down waiting for some remedy from the state government.
According to him, the file to denotify highways crossing through the main cities has also been moved by Public Works Department, which would provide relief to the liquor shops from areas like Bicholim, Valpoi, Sankhalim, Vasco, Canacona, Ponda, Cuncolim and others.
In December last year, the Supreme Court had ordered that liquor vends located within 500 metres on national and state highways, should be closed down. Later, it had modified the order reducing the distance to 220 metres in areas having a population of up to 20,000. However, the apex court had made it clear that its December 15, 2016 order banning such vends within 500 metres of highways shall remain operative for other areas.