Chandigarh may face complete liquor ban from 1 April. Each liquor shop in the city whether it is small shop , a five star hotel, a restaurant or a vend is staring this closure from 1 April after the December judgement of supreme court on closure of liquor ban on state highway and national highway comes into effect.
The reason behind this step is that the all major roads within the city are state highway and fall under the bounds of judgement. The cataloging of roads was done around 20 years ago so that the city administration could easily maintain these roads with the municipal corporation short of fund at time. But as of now all the major roads in the city are state highways excepting one national highway that passes through the city.
After SC judgement in December it was decided by the official to declare all the major roads as state highway so that it could be maintained by Union Territory’s engineering department instead of municipal corporation.
In December last year supreme court banned all the States and union Territory from granting licences on the sale of liquor within 500 metre of area along national and state highway. And this action was taken to stop the drink and drive accident cases across the country because it was noted that the main reason behind the large percentage of road accidents in our country is ” Drink and Drive.”
Chandigarh is not the only city taking this action on liquor ban cities like Gurugram are also starting this ban where many hotels may not be able to sell liquor within the city after 1 April , due to its property’s location. But the city faces a far more complexity and other major issues due to its design.
In Chandigarh the sectors are 1.2 KM long and 0.8 KM wide, and with all the vertical roads as being state highway , 500 metres on either side of the road covers the whole of the city. Thus as a result all sector within the state come with a 500 meter state highway, said Anurag Aggarwal, Home secretary , who is holding the charge of excise and taxation in the city.
Anurag Aggarwal also said, “All of the stores will have to close down, If nothing is done, the entire city will not have any liquor vend or bar in any hotel or restaurant”. Now, the UT administration has set up a four member committee comprising of UT chief engineer, chief architect, MC chief engineer, and additional excise and taxation commissioner are there to suggest definite solutions. Also the committee will have to submit its report within a week. to wriggle out of the unprecedented situation.
At this moment agarwal says he can’t say what is the solution to this predicament is?? He said we will hope the committee brings up the solution and we will take call after that.
By this action city bar and restaurant are in a state of panic and taking up the issues with different authorities. Vipul Dua, an owner of prominent bar and restaurant said ,” we are in the state of crises, and we are in a hope that administration is able to find some solution. We are waiting for the next hearing of supreme court which is on 28 Feb.