Liquor ban on highways: SC order to affect 200 bars in Haryana, mostly in Gurugram

Chandigarh: Around 200 bars in Haryana will be affected by the Supreme Court order banning sale of liquor within 500 meters of highways, while Punjab is yet to work out the number of bars and pubs which will feel the burnt.

“The Supreme Court order will affect 194 out of 478 bars in Haryana, most of which are located in Gurugram,” a state excise and taxation department official said on Sunday.

“Of the total 292 bars in Gurugram, this order will affect 106,” the official said.

As many as 500 liquor shops have been dislocated in Haryana following the apex court order, with the excise official claiming, “There is no implication on revenue because of dislocation of liquor vends.”

The Supreme Court has directed that no liquor shop shall be visible and directly accessible from the highways nor it should be situated within 500 metres of the outer edge of the national or state highway or of the service lane.

This order is also applicable to bars, pubs, which give rise to drunken driving and consequential fatalities.

About the impact of the apex court order on revenue of the state, the official said around Rs 100 crore in revenue may have to be foregone due to shutting down of bars and pubs.

Although the restaurants or bars may relocate their businesses to other areas, it is the big hotels which would face maximum brunt.

In Punjab, the excise and taxation department is figuring out the number of hotels, restaurants (which serve liquor) and bars located within 500 metres of state and national highways.

“The district excise and taxation commissioners have been directed to come up within a day the number of hotels, bars and restaurants which are within 500 metres of the highways in the state,” a senior official said, adding 1,300 to 1,400 liquor vends have already been closed and dislocated.

“We have not suffered any revenue loss on account of dislocation of liquor vends,” the official said.

In Chandigarh, about 90 bars and pubs will be affected because of the Supreme Court order.

An office bearer of Chandigarh Hotel and Restaurant Association said because of closure of bars in the city, a large number of people would become jobless.

The excise and taxation department of the Union Territory has started a drive to seal the liquor stock at hotels, bars and restaurants which are within the 500 meters of state and national highways.