Pune: In a big relief to around 380 pubs, bar and star hotels in Pune and in Pimpri Chinchwad following State Excise Department’s notification to all district collectors, the establishments located on the stretches of highways passing through municipal corporations and other local bodies will be allowed to serve or sale liquor from Wednesday.
The latest notification was issued on Monday. With this notification in place, the ban on renewal of licences of these establishments will be revoked. As per the order, those licence holders fulfilling necessary requirements will be allowed to renew their licences.
President of Pune Restaurant and Hoteliers Association (PRAHA) Ganesh Shetty said that these establishments will start functioning from Wednesday. Shetty said that they have requested the State Excise Department to keep their office open for renewal of licences on Tuesday. Shetty said that the Excise Department has accepted their proposal and the licence fee will be accepted on Tuesday even if it is a holiday on account of Anant Chaturdashi.
The State Excise Department’s notification has referred to the order given by Supreme Court in case Tamil Nadu state v/s K Balu and others on December 15 and March 31, 2017. It may be recalled that on December 31 last year, following Supreme Court’s ban, there was ban on the sale of alcohol along national and state highways within a distance of 500 metres. As a result of this, the business of 70 per cent bars and wine shops in Pune district was affected.
Following the latest order passed by the SC, which stated that this ban was not for establishments located on the stretches of state and national highways within municipal corporations, council areas and cantonment boards and nagar panchayats.
The order states that the ban on renewal of licences of establishments located on highways within these bodies will be revoked if the licence holders fulfill necessary requirements.
Ganesh Shetty had said that the liquor ban had hit the hospitality sector hard. Shetty has estimated that due to this ban, around 80,000 people had lost their jobs as 300 hotels were closed. PRAHA had pointed out that the stretches of highways passing through municipal corporations were being maintained by civic bodies and demanded that these stretches should be denotified.