The Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government,which had relaxed its anti-drinking laws a few years ago to promote tourism,has put on hold fresh applications seeking licences for liquor shops at least till the Assembly elections scheduled later this year.
So,at least 19 three to five-star hotels across Gujarat that wanted to open liquor shops will have to wait at least till the end of this year.
At least 19 hotels have applied for liquor shop licences,but the home department recently told them it would clear any new licences at least till the elections are over in the state, sources in the states prohibition department told The Indian Express. Most of these hotels are in Ahmedabad while one is a Taj property in Gir forest.
Sources said not a single licence has been issued in the last three-four years despite pressure from the tourism department which has been pressing for relaxations in prohibition laws for tourists.
It had recently written to the home department for opening counters at airports in the state where liquor permits could be issued to domestic and foreign visitors. It had also sought exemption from penal action for tourists who consume alcohol before entering the states limits. At present,anyone found drunk in Gujarat can be arrested and penalised. The home department turned down both these demands.
In 2009-10,the state government had relaxed prohibition laws in the state to promote industries,allowing consumption of liquor in Special Economic Zone (SEZ) through easy group permits. It had also started giving spot liquor permits at a counter at the international airport in Ahmedabad.
The prohibition law does not allow liquor shops in any hotel close to a religious place,school or highways. Also,a liquor shop licence has to be renewed every three years. At present,there around 50 licensed liquor shops in hotels across the state.
THE WAIT LIST
HOTEL GREEN VIEW,Vapi in Valsad district
SAFFRONY CLUB PVT LTD,A’bad-Mehsana Highway,Mehsana
VAS SUNDAR ORGANIZER PVT LTD,Leo Resort,Junagadh
HOTEL PACIFIC INN,Surat
FORTUNE HOTEL LAND MARK (WEST IN) LTD,Ahmedabad
HOTEL GRAND BHAGWATI,Sarkhej-G’nagar Highway,Ahmedabad
NALANDA HOTELSAND PROPERTIES LTD,Hotel Nalanda,Elisbridge,Ahmedabad
A&A CO HOTEL,La-Casa-In,Anand
HOTEL SAINT LAURN,Ashram Road,Ahmedabad
MADHUBAN SPA RESORT,Anand-Sojitra
CAMBAY SPAAND RESORT,Gandhinagar
PLANET AVIATION,Mundra SEZ,Kutch
TAJ GROUP (IHCL),Sasan Gir
PUBWORLD WINES,HOTEL SHALIMAR,Station Road,Bharuch