BENGALURU: Karnataka government is finally approaching the Centre to save bars along the highways. Bars along the highways, including those on Bengaluru’s MG Road, Indiranagar, Church treet have been issued closure notices, following SC directives.
“The state government representatives are meeting Union government officials on Wednesday, urging them to denotify the NHs that pass though the city limits,” said PWD principal secretary M Lakshminarayana. “NH-4 stretches right from Le Meridien and Windsor Manor on Ballari road to Trinity Circle via GPO, MG Road. Our officials will urge the National Highways officials to do the needful,” he said.
National Restaurant Association of India’s management committee member Ashish Kothare said they cannot move court directly against the Supreme Court order. “Many bars in Ashoknagar Excise department range have received closure notice. We are urging the State government to appeal to Supreme Court on our behalf.”
Speaking to Express, Law Minister T B Jayanachandra said soon after our Cabinet decision on denotifying national highways, we sent a communication to the Union government authorities. There is time till June 30 and we are expecting some relief in a couple of days. “A team from Public Works Department will be meeting Union government representatives. We do not have a direct hold in this issue,” he said.
Excise Department Commissioner Manjunath Naik said last year the state excise revenue was around Rs 16,480 crore, of which 35 per cent was from Bengaluru Urban district.
“We do not know how many bars have been issued notices. We will get a clear picture only in July. Supreme Court has entrusted the power to issue notice to the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of districts concerned,” he said.
Official sources from State government said they have identified six highway stretches that passed through Bengaluru. “There is pressure from bar owners especially in and around MG Road and government is likely to act,” sources said.