Chandigarh synonymous with branded kapde, mehengiyan car and daru will now have to leave the third part i.e. liquor as the City Beautiful is likely to go dry from April 1 2017. In India, it would be the third territory to have a complete liquor ban after Gujarat and Bihar.
The decision will come as a bad news for many who love boozing while others may feel relieved as The Supreme Court is expected to pass on the final verdict on total liquor ban in Chandigarh. The reason for the closure will be the December 2016 judgement of Supreme Court that ordered the shutting down of all liquor shops across India that are situated on or around state and national highways.
Will Chandigarh Become a Dry City?
As published in Hindustan Times, Anurag Aggarwal, Home Secretary said that all sectors in Chandigarh are 1.2 km long and 0.8 km wide with the proximity to state highways. Therefore every sector comes within the ambit of 500 metres of state highways.
He also asserted that something will have to be done otherwise Chandigarh will not have a single liquor vendor or bar in any hotel within the city.
The liquor business
With the banning of liquor across Chandigarh, the hotels and restaurant owners are worried as their sales will slash down terrifically. The liquor vendor and tavern owners are also eyeing on the verdict by the Supreme Court as their entire business depends upon the final say. April 1 is the deadline set by the Apex Court for all the liquor shops in Chandigarh as no license will be renewed for the liquor shops located near to the highways.
Situation in Chandigarh
Business owners are running from pillars to posts to deal with the issue with various authorities. Though these vendors are hoping that the UT administration will have some solution to it.
The sale of liquor in Chandigarh is quite high on demand and is cheaper than the adjoining states of Punjab and Haryana. Earlier, residents of Panchkula and Mohali used to buy liquor from Chandigarh but now the case will be vice a versa. Both liquor vendors and liquor lovers are keeping their fingers crossed so that the decision falls in their favour.