Chandigarh, June 23: The Punjab Legislative Assembly on Friday passed a legislation allowing hotels, restaurants and clubs on highways to serve liquor. The move comes in the wake of the order of the Supreme Court banning the hotels and bars to serve liquor falling within the range of 500 metres from highways. Also Read - UPSC Prelims: Will Aspirants Get an Extra Attempt? Check Central Govt's Decision
The Supreme Court order on March 31 reaffirmed its earlier decision (December 15, 2016) to ban liquor vending along the national and state highways in a bid to curb accidents caused by drunken driving. (ALSO READ: Pubs and bars along MG Road in Bengaluru to stop serving alcohol in a week’s time) Also Read - Sandalwood Drugs Case: Ragini Dwivedi Granted Bail by Supreme Court
Several states complained after the order the ban would severally affect the revenues of the states. Punjab denotified the bypassed stretches of seven state highways and turned them into a part of the city roads. Also Read - Supreme Court Sends Notice to Mirzapur Makers, Amazon Prime Video
Some road stretches were denotified in Rajasthan but officials said that it had nothing to do with the Court order. In Delhi, the Union road, transport and highways ministry officials were in a fix as they have received peculiar requests to denotify national highways when the Centre plans to take the length of such roads to 2 lakh km from the existing about 1 lakh km.
Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) too had expressed its concern over job losses after the ban.
“Almost nine million tourists visit India, resulting in almost 27 million foreign visitations across Indian states. These along with 1.8 billion domestic visitors frequent a significant portion of these establishments as guests,” it said.
All of this will be put to risk if the overall food and beverage experiences is compromised at such legitimate establishments which pay direct and indirect taxes and levies to both the central and state governments.