Bar owners to challenge SC ban

Claim that over 100 clubs, bars have been closed in Chennai alone, face 60 to 80% revenue loss after top court’s order prohibiting liquor sale on highways

Published: 08th April 2017 02:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th April 2017 05:21 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Bar and Club Owners Association (TANBAC) said on Friday that they may have to move the Supreme Court to challenge its order to ban liquor sales 500 m from the state and national highways as they are facing 60-80 per cent loss in revenue.
Out of about 650 clubs and bars that are a part of TANBAC, at least 400 of them have run out of business, Benze Saravanan, general secretary of the association, said. According to him, over 100 clubs and bars remain closed in Chennai alone.   

“There is a severe revenue drop in hotel booking and food sales in the attached restaurants too as people want to stay only in hotels with attached bars in them,” said Saravanan.
The association is, however, positive that the situation may not continue to remain grim as discussion to remove certain roads from the purview of the State Highways Department is underway. Anna Salai, one of Chennai’s most prominent roads, too may not be a part of State Highways soon.
However, the association does not see any kind of exception for the clubs and bars on national highways unless the order itself is relaxed.
Saravanan added that the association had met senior ministers in the state government who have promised to offer support and be vocal about it after the results of the by-elections in RK Nagar constituency are announced.

Most members of the association renewed their licences in February and the licences are valid for upto a year. The association comprises mostly clubs and bars attached to non-star and up to two star hotels.
While star hotels, clubs and bars on the highway have been shut, the ones that remain on the inner roads still serve alcohol as the local officials themselves have not been strict in the implementation of the order.
However most TASMAC shops that are 500m from the highways have been shut. There are nearly 400 clubs and 1,000 bars attached to hotels in the State.


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