‘The past will always come back to haunt you’, this statement describes the current situation faced by Union Territory of Chandigarh. After Gujarat and Bihar, Chandigarh could be facing a complete liquor ban.
The shocking decision came in after the Supreme Court’s 2016 verdict where the closure of liquor shops on state highways and national highways had been ordered.
Going by its 2016 December verdict the apex court had set the date April 1 to ensure the closure of all liquor shops on highways. The liquor licenses of shops on highways won’t be renewed after April 1.
While speaking to HT, Anurag Aggarwal, the in-charge of excise and taxation, said, “In Chandigarh, Sectors are 1.2 km long and 0.8 km wide. With all vertical roads being state highways, 500 metres on either side of the road covers the whole of the city. Thus, all sectors come within 500 metres of state highways.”
“If nothing is done, the entire city will not have any liquor vendor bar in any hotel or restaurant. All of them will have to close down,” he further added.
The major reason behind the decision which created a situation of panic is that all the major roads in Chandigarh are state highways and fall within the ambit of the judgment.
As per reports, the categorisation of roads was done some 20 years back where the UT administration could maintain these roads, with the municipal corporation falling short of funds. As of now, apart from the single national highway that passes through the city, all major roads are state highways.