Highway liquor ban: Relief ahead for outlets in Chandigarh’s Sector 35, 43 and more?
Liquor outlets in Sectors 35 and 43 and on Dakshin Marg from the JW Marriott roundabout to Tribune Chowk may soon find themselves beyond the purview of the Supreme Court order that has banned sale of liquor within 500 metres of national and state highways. This stretch, according a Right to Information response cited by Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher, is not actually part of National Highway (NH) 21.
Kher has written to UT adviser Parimal Rai, requesting him to direct the authorities concerned “to take immediate necessary action to resolve this issue without further loss of time”.
A press release issued by the BJP MP said that, as per information procured by a hotel representative under RTI Act from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), now NH-21 (new NH 205) has a different route. Its one end in Chandigarh is the Sector 39-56 chowk, and it moves straight towards the Sector 47-48 T-point, then turns left to pass in front of Industrial Area-2, right up to Tribune Chowk before turning right from there to head towards Zirakpur and beyond.
The present route means closure of around 40 liquor outlets and loss of 2,000 jobs, claim industry insiders.
Kher has now sought a clarification on the route, stating in her letter that there is “a lot of confusion due to the contradiction of routes” earmarked by the UT administration and the NHAI. Resultantly, hotels and restaurants business is badly affected as they are not being allowed to serve liquor after the judgment delivered by the apex court, she adds.
HT had already reported on April 3 how the UT administration has been sleeping on the issue of changing the route of NH-21 on papers for more than two years.
Chandigarh Hospitality Association president Ankit Gupta said, “We are grateful to the MP for taking up the issue with the authorities. We are hopeful of sorting it out.”