Bangaloreans were despondent when the Highway Liquor Ban was implemented causing a vast number of pubs and liquor stores in the city to be shut down. However, there appeared to be a small sliver of hope when the Supreme Court ruled that some of these National Highways could be denotified by the Centre.
Unfortunately, that hope has now died as the Centre has rejected Karnataka’s proposal to denotify National Highways in the state. According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has said that it is “not in a position to consider the State government’s proposal for denotification of these NHs at this stage” as the apex court has neither reviewed or modified its verdict of banning liquor shops within 500 metres from the outer edge of NHs or State highways or service roads along the highways.
Also, the Ministry said that it has “not been found feasible” for considering the State’s proposal to denotify 147 isolated NH stretches of around 609.65-km length as “bypasses have not been completed/commissioned for any of these stretches”.
At the moment the matter is in the hands of Karnataka’s High Court. We can only hope that the denotification of certain roads will be allowed in a timely matter.