‘Lucky escape’ for 80 liquor vends, hotels in Ghaziabad as NH58 got denotified last year
80 liquor shops in Ghaziabad escaped the ambit of SC order barring liquor near highways as NH58 was denotified last yearnoida Updated: Apr 02, 2017 22:10 IST
As many as 80 liquor shops in Ghaziabad district, including prominent hotels with bar facilities, had a lucky escape from the directions of the Supreme Court order that banned operation of liquor shops near state and national highways.
According to excise department officials, the 80 facilities, including bars in prominent hotels, were located on NH-58E (from UP Gate to Meerut tri-junction) and NH-58 (from Meerut tri-junction to Kadrabad) that were denotified last year and have still not been declared as state highway by the government. The major hotels on these stretches include Radisson and Country Inn, they added.
“It is a lucky escape for us... we were worried when excise officials had come and measured the distance from the road to our hotel to the very last inch. For the last two days, our customers have been repeatedly calling us from Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida, asking whether we were falling under the ban or not. We could not answer them as we had no clue whatsoever,” said an official from a renowned hotel in Kaushambi.
Residents too cheered that some of the liquor vends would escape closure.
“You don’t find good shops or bars to visit when it comes to Ghaziabad. Our group of friends was anxiously waiting for the list to roll out. We got a lucky surprise that at least some prominent places were saved, perhaps, by sheer luck” said Vikrant Sharma of Raj Nagar Extension.
“Otherwise, people would have partied in cars, bringing liquor from Delhi,” he added.
According to officials, these facilities were not included under the directions of the Supreme Court order that mentions only state and national highways.
“The state government is yet to declare these stretches as state highways. So these shops and hotels escaped the ban,” said Karunendra Singh, district excise officer, Ghaziabad.
While these 80 establishments have escaped the ambit of the Supreme Court order, the excise department in Ghaziabad did identify 59 shops that fell under the ambit of the directions. Of these, 29 shop licence holders have already applied for relocation and received a nod from the excise commissioner.
“These 29 can relocate to any part of the district and should not fall under the directions of the court order. We estimate that the remaining 30 that have closed down will result in a revenue loss of nearly Rs42 crore annually,” Singh added.
Overall, in the six districts of western Uttar Pradesh, including Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar, around 619 shops were covered by the Supreme Court order. Around 277 of these could be relocated, according to excise officials.