Liquor ban: Himachal government denotifies 16 State Highways to major district roads

Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister denotified 16 State Highways to "Major District Roads" to circumvent the Supreme Court's liquor ban order at the National and State Highways.

Since the order pertains to only those within 500 metres of state and national highways, establishments along the Old Delhi Gurgaon Road will escape the ban. "I have no option but to impress the guests", a hotel manager in Sohna told PTI.

"Since many liquor shops have flouted norms during the previous regime and prescribed distance from a school, hospital or a religious place has not been adhered to completely, UP government will make it uniform 500 metres", he said. Speaking about the proposed relocation of liquor shops, the minister said out of the total 8,000 shops, around 5,300 did not face any protest but their business got affected too.

The response was poor in Shimla, Chamba, Una and Mandi districts and Baddi in Solan district.

"The one-time licences for serving of liquor in business establishments in the red zone will not be issued from now on", said HC Dahiya, deputy excise and taxation officer, west zone.

The vendors have been allowed to exhaust the last year's stock within a week on payment of revised license fee and other duties, he said.

However, some of the reports also suggested that some states including Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya were exempt from the order.

The Department has so far fetched 80 per cent of the revenue as compared to past year, and hopes to garner more from further auctions, he said.

The government seems to be highly efficient in ensuring that the people of the state, who are reeling under crisis of basic services, should not be hindered from getting booze from their neighbourhoods or during travel, a statement quoting CPI (M) state committee Secretary Onkar Shad said.

  • Patricia Jimenez