Come April, Chandigarh might have to get used to spend evenings and enjoy their parties without liquor and Patiala peg might be a lassi glass or a mocktail (who still would want to deceive their senses of the drastic change).
Last December, Supreme Court passed a judgment on closure of liquor shops on state highways and national highways, which will be effective from April 1, 2017.
The judgment has given sleepless nights to restaurants, hoteliers, pub owners and liquor shops around Chandigarh since then.
Why Chandigarh is peculiarly impacted the most?
Most of the beautiful, well-maintained roads around the UT are state highways. Even one national highway passes through the city. Actually the road categorisation was done around 20 years when the MC Chandigarh was short of funds and the UT administration was given the charge to maintain these roads.
Though with passage of time, the roads maintenance did pass on to the MC, but the roads are still, officially, state highways.
Home secretary Anurag Aggarwal, who is holding the charge of excise and taxation, said, “In Chandigarh, Sectors are 1.2 km long and 0.8 km wide. With all vertical roads being state highways, 500 metres on either side of the road covers the whole of the city. Thus, all sectors come within 500 metres of state highways.” He also added, “If nothing is done, the city entire will not have any liquor vend or bar in any hotel or restaurant. All of them will have to close down.” Now, a panel comprising UT chief engineer, MC chief engineer, chief architect and additional excise and taxation commissioner has been set up to suggest solutions within a week.
What was the December SC Judgment?