Kerala seeks three-month extension for highway liquor ban

Due to the ban, the state had apprehended a loss of Rs 1,300 as revenue this fiscal for the excise and taxation department that governs liquor sale.

For one, the Supreme Court has put it on record that the "basis and foundation" for the ban was derived entirely from studies done by the Central government over the past decade. "We have also planned to meet Union minister for Road Transport and Highway, Nitin Gadkari today", he said.

However, the apex court on Friday granted partial relief to state liquor associations regarding banning of liquor stores on state and national highways.

Rajasthan and Punjab Governments denotified the bypassed stretches of State highways and turned them into a part of the city roads.

The Chief Minister claimed the ban will have "no major impact" on state revenue.

Following the apex court's order banning liquor at all hotels and restaurants situated within 500 metres of the national and state highways, Goa's Excise Commission on Monday served closure notice to the liquor vendors in the state.

The Centre has given in-principle approval to upgrading 57,500 km of state highways to NHs, subject to outcome of their detailed project reports, to augment the existing 1.13 lakh km of NHs across the country.

Parrikar stated that he is now examining all the existing notifications as regard state as well as national highways in Goa, as stretches of many of such highways have not been notified.

According to an office bearer of the Chandigarh Hotel and Restaurant association, as many as 95 bars will be affected by the Supreme Court order and several hotels and restaurants located in sectors 26, 7, 35 and 17 in the city will go dry. Many hoteliers whose pubs have been closed have alleged that measuring techniques employed by the Haryana Excise and Taxation department are not reliable.

Public Works Department of Rajasthan has estimated 190 kilometres of 21 state highways, passing through 16 districts and measuring 3,029 kilometres, that could be named "urban" roads or other district roads instead of state highways. "But those who are planning to come to Goa would think twice before deciding on it", he said.

Among the states considering moving court is Goa, whose Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said his government is contemplating approaching the Supreme Court for proper clarification on the order, and possibly seek some special consideration for the state.

  • Leroy Wright