The excise and taxation department on Wednesday stopped issuing daily pass to M/s United Breweries Limited for supply of liquor to retailers.
The United Breweries was earlier permitted sale despite the godown being within 500 meters of the state highway. The M/s United Breweries Limited (UBL), which deals in Kingfisher Beer, has its godown located at Industrial Area Phase 1 Chandigarh.
Sources said the daily passes for the transportation of liquor stock to various retailers, which were being issued till Tuesday, were stopped on Wednesday morning. Excise officials said the passes would be issued once the wholesaler shifts his godown beyond the 500 meters area.
Meanwhile, other wholesalers, whose licenses were pending, were called at the office of excise department in Sector 17 to inform about the status of their files. Sources said the wholesalers were also pulled up for speaking against the department.
On Tuesday, when the department was asked why a sole wholesaler was favoured, the officials had termed “shortage of beer” as the reason for the same. However, on Wednesday the excise officials preferred to keep mum on the issue.
Deputy commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi, who had on Tuesday stated that he would bring the facts to the fore, did not respond to calls and messages.
Other wholesalers whose godowns were within the ambit of 500 meters are under locks and had already been directed to shift their godowns. The wholesalers had alleged “special favour” to the UBL by the excise department.
Because the permit was given to UB Limited till now, it had a monopoly in selling beer in the city. The one managing UBL had earlier told the Chandigarh Newsline that they were soon shifting to a new place.
Activist Harman Sidhu, who filed a petition before the Supreme Court banning sale of liquor along highways, had termed the department’s move wrong. He stated that the department was giving a wrong signal across the city by allowing a godown within 500 meters, which was in violation with the Supreme Court orders.