SC's liquor ban on highways to leave 90% outlets out of business in Goa
SC's liquor ban on highways to leave 90% outlets out of business in Goa

A two month-old notification of the Union Ministry for Roads, Transport, Highways and Shipping, which in January upgraded 21 major state roads to the status of national highways, will put 90 per cent of the state's liquor outlets out of business, the opposition alleged.

Demanding an immediate withdrawal of the notification by the central government, Congress state President Luizinho Faleiro said the state government needed to lobby aggressively with the Centre, to ensure that owners of liquor outlets and bars do not suffer on account of the Supreme Court's recent decision to ban bars within 500 metres of highways.

Faleiro told media that, "Ninety per cent major roads in Goa are now state and national highways because of the notification. It will affect 7,000 to 8,000 liquor outlets in the state. Which means those many families are going to be affected. This will bring misery to people and the government is just not bothered."

According to the state's Excise Department, there are around 11,000 excise licence holders in the Goa, authorised to sell liquor.

Before the Union Roads and Transport Ministry notification was highlighted by the local media, an exercise conducted by the state excise officials had revealed that between 3,200 to 3,500 bar and liquor outlets would be affected by the apex court's ban.

Faleiro said, "Earlier, the official survey of liquor outlets revealed that around 3,200-3,500 outlets would be directly affected, but now the number would be much more. As many as 90 per cent of the liquor outlets and bars in the state now come under the purview of the Supreme Court ban."

He accused the central government of arbitrarily taking the decision to upgrade the major roads in the state to the status of highways.

He further added, "We strongly condemn this and warn the government, especially the central government, that they cannot take decisions like this, which are not only arbitrary, but high-handed. I would say they are draconian, which will destroy the livelihood of 90 per cent of the bars and restaurants of Goa."

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