BHUBANESWAR: The Supreme Court’s latest decision not to interfere in the de-notification of National and State highways in Chandigarh to get around the ban the sale of liquor within 500 metres may have brought a new ray of hope for over a dozen hotels in the Capital City which are located in the prohibitory zone.
By virtue of the apex court’s order, about 17 to 18 hotels in the City had to stop operation of their bars but if one goes by the State Government’s move, they could soon resume service. About 8 km of the NH passes through the City.
Sources said the Government had already started the process for a similar re-classification of the NH within the city limits and the matter was pending approval from the Chief Minister’s Office. But, the SC order will now pave the way for its processing soon. Over 70 to 80 per cent hotels located within the urban limits had faced the ban after the apex court order which came into effect from April 1.
At least 456 off-shops, 60 hotels, 51 beer parlours, bars in 205 restaurants, 74 country liquor shops, 320 out-stilled liquor shops and a military canteen had to adhere to the SC order to close operation by March 31. Of these, as many as 40 shops in Bhubaneswar were closed. Many of them were star hotels which had made huge investments.
“Since the court has made it clear in the latest case that the re-classified highways falling within the city limits do not have fast moving traffic, it is certainly a good news for us,” said a hotel owner of the City.
The Excise department had estimated that the State exchequer would lose about `1,100 crore in 2017-18 due to closure of 1,167 liquor shops as per the apex court ruling. Earlier in April, the State Government had renamed State highways as urban roads to beat the liquor ban order.
Over 70 to 80 percent hotels located within urban limits faced the ban after the April 1 apex court order
At least 456 off-shops, 60 hotels, 51 beer parlours, bars in 205 restaurants, 74 country liquor shops, 320 out-stilled liquor shops and a military canteen had to adhere to the SC order