Panaji, Mar 28 (PTI) The Goa government will categorise on certain parameters the liquor outlets located along the highways which are yet to get any relief from a Supreme Court ban.

The move is aimed at providing relief to such outlets within the existing law, a minister said today.

The government has formed a three-member committee to find ways to help the liquor outlets shut post the 2016 SC order banning sale of alcohol within 500 metres along national and state highways across the country.

The panel comprises three ministers – Francis D Souza (urban development), Vijai Sardesai (agriculture) and Rohan Khaunte (revenue).

The committee, which met today at the secretariat, decided to categorise the liquor outlets which are yet to get any relief from the SC order, which came into effect on April 1, 2017.

“There are 1,332 liquor outlets which are still affected by the ban,” Sardesai told reporters after the meet.

He said the panel will meet again on next Wednesday to categorise these outlets on various parameters like their location close to cities and in developed areas.

Sardesai said the state will bank on the data collected from the Census to categorise the areas and will accordingly try to give relief to the affected outlets within the existing law.

“We share the concerns of bar owners. They are Goans and they have been in this business for long and it is their bread and butter. We are sympathetic towards them,” he said.

Sardesai said the SC order had initially affected more than 3,000 outlets, but this number dropped to 1,332 through various actions taken within the existing norms.

The Goa government had earlier denotified certain state highways (changed their status) which were running through towns and cities.

The SC had later exempted liquor outlets, bars and restaurants, operating within a distance of 500 metres along national and state highways but located in municipal areas, from the ban’s purview.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.