50% liquor outlets in Maharashtra shut after Supreme Court ban to reopen
Following the ban, the state government had cancelled the licenses of 15,699 establishments including restaurants, bars and liquor shops.mumbai Updated: Aug 25, 2017 00:05 IST
After the Supreme Court’s order on Wednesday, thousands of liqour shops, restaurants, which were shut down within city limits as they fell within 500 metre of a highway, will reopen in the state.
The state excise department will soon start the procedure to reissue licenses to such restaurants, bars and pubs. The SC in December last year had banned all establishments within 500m of highways that serve liquor. The ban was aimed at reducing accidents on highways caused by drink driving.
Following the ban, the state government had cancelled the licenses of 15,699 establishments including restaurants, bars and liquor shops. There was an uproar over the verdict as thousands of such establishments had to shut shops, even those within city limits.
On Wednesday, the Apex Court clarified that the ban on sale of liquor at state and national highways does not apply within city limits granting a big relief to the industry.
The Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association’s (AHAR) president Adarsh Shetty said the verdict has brought a big relief as more than 50% establishments in the state will be able to restart operations. Valsa Nair, principal secretary, state excise department told HT , “We are in the process of issuing guidelines to follow the Supreme Court order.”
A senior official from the excise department said cities like Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad etc were badly affected with the SC ban. “The fresh order will help them restart their operations in all the big and small cities as it will cover municipal corporations as well as municipal councils. It will also cover satellite cities,” said the official.
The state has already exempted Mumbai from the SC restrictions by issuing a notification in April to denotify both the Eastern Express Highway (EEH) and Western Express Highway (WEH) and then handle them over for repair and maintenance to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). De-notifying these highways means they were no more called highways and as such all the establishments there could serve liquor.
First Published: Aug 25, 2017 00:05 IST