We’ve all been on those family road trips (also known by Bangaloreans as a trip to Wonder La or Nandi Hills) and passed numerous alcohol stores and bars along the way. Well, that’s not to be anymore as the Supreme Court passed an order on December 15th that required all liquor stores within 500 meters of a highway to be shut down. The SC refused to bend on the numerous petitions they received to halt the order.
It now seems that the Supreme Court is offering some respite. Instead, of the 500-meter distance that they had initially stipulated, the revised distance will be 220 meters from the highway. Unfortunately, the good news to some was clouded by bad news to others. The order was clarified to mention that it would be applicable not only to liquor outlets but also to bars which are part of hotels, restaurants, wine parlors etc.
The Supreme Court also refused to budge on the implementation of the order which was set to happen on 1 April 2017. However, states that have a different excise year from March 31st were granted some reprieve and given until September 30th to implement the order. Sikkim and Meghalaya were also granted exemption from the order.
In essence, this means that a majority of shops and hotels serving alcohol within this distance on the highway will be shut with immediate effect. Hundreds and thousands of shops and hotels that serve liquor fall in the red zone of 220 meters. This would come has a big blow to the hospitality industry as the order would affect a vast majority.
At least, it’s an attempt to make the highways a safer space.