Bengaluru: Around 70 per cent of the 6,015 excise licencees in Karnataka, which had come under the shadow of the Supreme Court ban on liquor vends on highways must be feeling relieved after the Government last week de-notified 1,476.69 kilometres of highways (National and State) with an eye on protecting its lion’s share of revenue that it gets from the Excise department.
The government order on de-notification has raised the spirits of the watering holes in Bengaluru, which would have lost its tag of ‘pub city’ if the government had not come to their rescue.
“Majority of the pubs, bars and clubs would have to shut shop if the government had not intervened,” said the owner of a resto bar and club lounge.
“Out of the 10,091 excise licencees, 6,015 would have been adversely impacted by the Supreme Court ban on liquor vends on highways. With the de-notification of 1,476.69 kilometres of highways the government has saved around 70 per cent of the liquor retailers in the State. Licences of around 4,200 retailers are likely to be renewed. The rest of them, who have outlets within the prohibitory 500-metre distance of the highways, will have to either relocate or shut shop. The Department has issued them notices that their licences will not be renewed,” said an official source.
According to sources the Excise Department has already started the process of renewing licences for the financial year 2017-’18, which will start from July 1.
The State cabinet on June 7 had approved a proposal to de-notify stretches of State highways that pass through the limits of urban local bodies (ULBs) and local authority roads.Critics of the government move to circumvent the Supreme Court order by de-notification of highways said that it was a “bad” move, which will burden the cash strapped ULBs to maintain the highways besides being looked at as a law breaker....