The excise department has received 46 requests from the hotels/restaurants for a resurvey of their distance from either state or national highways. These requests come after the excise department has forced these establishments to stop vending liquor following the Supreme Court’s blanket ban on serving liquor within 500 meters of either state or national highways.
Mohan Varde, Superintendent of Excise, Pune, said following the apex court’s directive, they had shut down 1,600 out of the 2,500 licence-holding establishments of the district. This included 9-star properties, 167 licensed shops vending liquor (commonly called wine shop) and other hospitality establishments.
The excise department had measured the distance from the highways from the sanctioned maps submitted by the establishments. The establishments were given 15 days to appeal or ask for resurvey of their distance.
“Till date we have received 46 such requests from hospitality establishments for a resurvey of their distance. Following this, we will be conducting the surveys before coming to a final decision,” he said. The resurvey will see officials from the excise department being accompanied by officials of the land settlement commissionerate and the Public Works Department (PWD). Varde said the survey will see the officials actually measuring the distance, using survey tools.
Meanwhile, the sale of liquor from the factory outlets have seen a dip of 40 per cent in the last 20 days.
“On an average, Pune used to see lifting of 22 lakh liters desi liquor, 25 lakh litres foreign liquor and 35 lakh litres of beer per month. Since the ban, it has dipped by 40 per cent,” he said.
The excise department seals the liquor cabinets of the establishments who come within the 500 meters range. Varde said five stores of the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) had come within the 500 meters range and were forced to shut down. “The store at Dehu Road had in fact relocated after five days of closure at a new location,” he said.