Chandigarh’s pubs and bars may soon make a grand comeback! Yes, the latest decision by the Supreme Court of India has brought the much required sigh of relief for the workers and owners of the restaurants and bars that fall within 500 metres of highways. Earlier, this year, the Supreme Court had ordered banning of liquor sales within 500 metres of highways which could result in fewer road accidents. After the implementation of the decision, it was reported by Business Standard that across the hospitality sector, over one million jobs would be lost due to this decision.
Here comes the relief on Liquor sale Ban
According to the latest report by the Economic Times The Supreme Court has said that the order of barring liquor vends within 500 metres of highways was meant to refute the drivers from accessing alcohol on highways. Highways were on the priority because vehicles are driven in higher speeds on highways and this applied to Chandigarh as well. But according to the latest statement, it has said that motor vehicles are driven in higher speed on highways, not on busy city roads. The apex court also added that its purpose to ban liquor sale on highways was to ensure that vehicles on highways, which are mostly driven at higher speed, do not have drivers under influence of liquor.
Words of relief from the apex court
The Supreme Court of India said that if such roads are within a city, there was nothing wrong with denotifying highways. This decision seems to have come as a major relief for pubs, bars and microbreweries in Chandigarh that were shut down along the highway under the decision of the court. The court also added that denotifying such roads as highways may have intelligible differentia.
Chandigarh Administration’s support in the Liquor ban decision
According to an RTI (Right to Information) response cited by Kirron Kher, MP, Chandigarh, sectors on Dakshin Marg from the JW Marriott roundabout to Tribune Chowk besides sector 35 and 43 are not actually part of National Highway (NH) 21.
According to an official release disseminated by the office of the MP it was brought to notice that NH-21 (new NH 205) has a different route all in all. One end of this NH (in Chandigarh) is the Sector 39-56 chowk (roundabout) that moves straight towards the Sector 47-48 T-point. After turning left to pass in front of Industrial Area phase-2 it continues right up to Tribune Chowk (Roundabout) before turning right from there to head towards Zirakpur on the Chandigarh-Delhi highway.