Pune’s liquor establishments to reopen as state excise department issues fresh order
The order from the state excise department came after a clarification from the Supreme Court which stated that the ban on liquor served within 500 metres of state and national highways does not apply within city limits.pune Updated: Sep 06, 2017 11:37 IST
The state excise department, on Monday, issued an order allowing the re-opening of liquor serving establishments in Pune district. With this order, around 1300 liquor establishments will reopen by Wednesday, said state excise officials.
The order from the state excise department came after a clarification from the Supreme Court which stated that the ban on liquor served within 500 metres of state and national highways does not apply within city limits.
“Now that order has been issued by the state excise department, liquor shops, restaurants and bars will start functioning from Wednesday,” said Mohan Varde, superintendent of state excise (Pune). Varde also added that the one-day delay in reopening the bars is because Tuesday is a dry day.
State excise commissioner, Ashwini Joshi, in her order said, “The SC, in its order, has clarified that the ban is not applicable to liquor establishments located on state and national highways in municipal areas. Therefore, such establishments can renew their licenses.”
In its order, the Supreme Court has observed that, “The purpose of the directions contained in the order dated December 15, 2016 is to deal with the sale of liquor along and in proximity of highways which provide connectivity between cities, towns and villages. The order does not prohibit licensed establishments within municipal areas. This clarification shall govern other municipal areas as well. We have considered it appropriate to issue this clarification to set at rest any ambiguity.”
In Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, around 600 establishments stopped serving liquor due to the SC ban while 1600 establishments have been affected in the district. Welcoming the fresh order, Ganesh Shetty, president of Pune hoteliers association, said, “Most liquor shops will start operating from Wednesday as they have already paid the fees and submitted the documents for renewal of license.” Shetty added that the hoteliers suffered a huge financial loss during the ban that came into force on April 1.
According to excise department officials, the consumption of liquor came down by almost 20 % after the ban came into effect.