Bhubaneswar: In deference to the Supreme Court’s direction, the state government has decided to relocate the liquor shops located within 500 metre from the state and national highways by March end.
A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi at Secretariat here Saturday.
“The direction of the apex court will be executed from April 1 this year. All liquor shops opened within 500 metre from state and national highways will be relocated,” Padhi told reporters.
There was lack of clarity over the parameters for identification of such shops and some practical difficulties also. These issues were resolved at the meeting, he added.
“We will complete the identification of such liquor shops within a fortnight and then the shop owners will be asked to follow the direction of the apex court, Padhi added.
Excise secretary Bishnupada Sethi said not only liquor shops but also other shops and hotels having bars and operating within 500 metre from the highways would either be closed or shifted.
“Currently, there are over 3,900 liquor shops along the highways in the state. However, about 1,712 will be affected due to the SC order because others are situated within civic body areas,” Sethi said.
As per preliminary estimation, the government would lose excise revenue to the tune of Rs 1,100 crore per annum if these liquor shops are shifted from the identified zones, he stated. The SC, in its order dated December 15 last, had directed shifting of liquor shops located within 500 metre from the highways.
Director general of police Kunwar Brajesh Singh, home secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy, finance secretary TK Pandey, police commissioner YB Khurania among others attended the meeting.