Hyderabad: More than 50 per cent of the total 3000 liquor selling outlets (2200 wine shops and 800 bars) abutting or along the highways passing through Telangana will have to be shifted beyond 500 metres if they want to continue their business as the Supreme Court has not only ordered a ban on all liquor shops on national and state highways across the country but also prohibited the renewal of licences of existing shops after March 31.
50 PC OF 3000 SHOPS ALONG HIGHWAYS
GLOOMY PICTURE OF BARS IN GHMC
According to official sources, all the district excise superintendents have been asked to submit a report with geo-mapping on the location of every liquor shop on the highways within a month. A random study conducted by the state Excise and Prohibition Department has indicated that there are nearly 300 liquor outlets on the National Highway 44 connecting Adilabad and Mahbubnagar on a stretch of 519 km.
Another 200 wine shops are on the NH-65 connecting Zaheerabad Kodad on a stretch of 300 km. In the Greater Hyderabad limits, there are 150 shops on the national highway that passes through the city. Some of the liquor shops on the highways even have permit rooms where guzzlers can sit and drink.
Five other national highways NH - 63 ( Nizamabad to Chinnur covering 235 km stretch), NH – 167 ( Karnataka border to Jadcharla on 112 km stretch), NH – 163 (Hyderabad to Chhattisgarh border -302 km), NH- 30 and NH – 61 have 200 wine shops.
When it comes to the state highways, licences have been given for 150 wine shops on state high way number – 1 which is also known as Rajiv Rahadari connecting Hyderabad and Ramagundam. Similarly, there are 200 bars abutting NH-44 and NH-65 which fall under GHMC limits and another 200 on the national and state highways.
A top official of the Excise department told The Hans India that the Supreme Court direction would affect liquor shops and bars more in the GHMC area. Telangana Wine Dealers Association president D Venkateshwar Rao said that the Supreme Court had earlier ordered that the wine shops should not be located within 100 meters of the national highways.
The latest order to remove shops within 500 meters of highways would put financial burden on the managements as they will have to incur additional expenditure to set up new outlets. The problem would be more acute in GHMC limits as there are also orders that the wine shops cannot be given licences within 100 metres of schools and temples, he said.
He said the highest number of bars and liquor shops that would be affected by the Supreme Court order are in Maharashtra which has about 8400 bars and liquor shops along the national and state highways, including the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.