The Managing Director of Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (Amul) on Monday proposed converting 16,000 liquor outlets, set to lose their licences, into Amul milk bars to contribute to building a healthy nation. R S Sodhi pitched his idea on Twitter, in light of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling against liquor shops, hotels and pubs along national and state highways, which, according to NITI Aayog chief Amitabh Kant, may affect one million jobs.
“We invite all these 16000 liquor shops/ bars to open @Amul milk bar for gainful employment and healthy nation building. R S Sodhi,” Sodhi tweeted.
— R S Sodhi (@Rssamul) April 4, 2017
The Supreme Court last week refused to allow liquor vends within 500 metres of national and state highways to sell liquor, in light of road accidents due to drunk driving. In the case of areas where the population is below 20,000, the limit was reduced to 220 metres. Its order came into effect on April 1. The top court completely relaxed its order for two states, Sikkim and Meghalaya, owing to topographical constraints.
Also read our editorial on the SC judgement: Missing the target
In a move to avoid the apex court’s ruling, the Rajasthan Public Works Department (PWD) denotified state highways to “urban roads” on Tuesday, reported PTI.
Meanwhile, Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said the government is inviting suggestions to explore a “middle path” to help hoteliers and restaurant owners affected by the ruling. “We respect the Supreme Court order. We will take suggestions from legal experts to see whether there can be a middle path,” he told PTI.