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Brigade Road in bengaluru in the night (Photo by Amit) Credit: Creative Commons

Bangalore Faces ‘Pub’ Dilemma, Team Rushed to Delhi over Highway Liquor Ban

What has been cited during the British period sketches has come up to put Bangalore’s famous Brigade Road and MG Road pubs to closure now, with the Supreme Court effecting ‘No Bars’ on Highways. No one had ever noticed that the famous Brigade Road was part of a highway.

In view of the impending order taking effect from July 1, 2017, the Excise authorities in Bangalore have issued closure notices to liquor licence holders last week citing the SC order.

The notice published in TOI reads: “…As per the SC order, we are instructed to close any shop selling alcohol within 500 metres from national and state highways by June 30. The relaxation (under Karnataka Excise Act) that liquor could be served in these areas given that they are within the city and have a population of more than 20,000 has also been struck down.”

The Karnataka government is contemplating to move the Centre or the apex court for a review petition on the order and has sent a team to Delhi to convince the Centre to denotify the six national highway stretches which run in the middle of new Bengaluru.

Once implemented, hundreds of pubs and liquor vending shops will have to shut their shops on MG RoadBrigade Road, Church Street, Indiranagar and areas around Hosur Road. The loss will amount to about Rs.60 crore in licence fee and Rs.5,000 crore as excise tax revenue to the state.

The option for all these shops is to shift elsewhere and keep away from a distance of 500 metres of highways in the city. “We are ready to renew the licence if they relocate to a different address,” TOI report quoted an official as saying.

Even five star hotels in the vicinity of these highways are in a dilemma over the confusion about which road is a highway and which one is not, as nearly 6 highways run through the heart of the city.

Many shop owners are upset with the state government which had remained lukewarm over the issue and had not acted swiftly when the Supreme Court gave its ruling moths ago.

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