While it was being talked about for sometime now, Supreme Court has taken action and imposed a ban on the sale of liquor in the vicinity of 500m from state and national highways. In addition to liquor vendors, many hotels and restaurants too came under the scanner. This decision was taken to bring down the cases of drunken driving that has already claimed thousands of lives.
As a counter action to this decision, the state and national highways located in states like Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and others have been denotified into local, municipal or district roads. The exact reason behind taking this step was not specified by the State government. However, it is being said that this damage control measure has been taken in an attempt to safeguard the interests of pubs, restaurants and hotels. Maharashtra government accepted the proposals submitted by three municipal corporations in Latur, Yavatmal and Jalgaon and denotified the highways passing through that area. The Uttarakhand government too followed suit and denotified state highways to categorise them as district roads. The reason for which was stated as maintenance and expansion of the roads. Punjab and Rajasthan too recategorised certain sections of state highways and made them part of city roads
The liquor ban might have positive effects but will also affect the hotel industry in a negative way. While many of the hotel and restaurant owners are looking at shifting base, there are others who are planning to shut down. In addition, it is also reported that many of these places are laying off their staff to sustain the profitability of the business. In a tweet, Amitabh Kant, CEO,Niti Aayog, GOI, stated, ‚ÄúSupreme Court‚Äôs highway liquor ban verdict may hit 1 million jobs‚ÄĚ.