Efforts to denotify the stretches of national and state highways are gaining momentum with liquor sellers seeking help from political leaders to speed the process of reopening closed liquor shops across the city. The state excise department had to suspend the licences issued for sale of liquor within 500 metres of national or state highways, following the Supreme Court order earlier this year.
The state government has been losing its revenue due to the closing down of liquor shops or joints, the ban had also led to many getting unemployed. The state Public Works Department (PWD) had urged the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to seek denotification of the highways, following which the civic administration had clarified that the roads are owned by either the state PWD or NHAI and the PMC is just responsible for maintenance.
After a recent meeting of officers of the state excise, public works, revenue and the PMC, it was decided that the PMC would urge the district collector to push for denotification, while handing over the ownership to the civic body. “The state government would take the final decision after all the departments concerned have carried out their necessary processes,” said a civic official.