Implementing the Supreme Court order on the closure of liquor selling establishments from the mentioned unauthorised distances from State and National Highways began from yesterday. According to the All Goa Liquor Traders Associations stats, around 30 per cent of liquor outlets in Goa have shut down.
President of the All Goa Liquor Traders Association, Dattaprasad Naik said, “The order has impacted 30 per cent of liquor vendors. But the state government is working out a solution which would save many of them.”
A meeting between the representatives of liquor traders and Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar along with officials of the excise and PWD departments took place last evening to study the Court’s order of March 31. In the order it included not only shops, but also pubs, bars and hotels that sell liquor, which are within 500 meters of highways.
The outlets within 500 meters were awaiting renewal of their licenses that expired on March 31, Naik informed, who is also a state BJP leader.
Another modification in the original order on this ban by the SC was of permitting liquor outlets to continue operating, which are beyond 220 meters from highways instead of 500 meters in local body-governed areas with population of less than 20,000.
This relaxation in the order, Naik revealed, will save almost 1100 of the 3200 outlets affected by the original order.
Commissioner of the Excise Department Menino D’souza has said that the renewing of licenses will begin from tomorrow.
“Now we will renew the licences of outlets which are more than 220 metres away from the highway in local body areas with population of less than 20,000,” he said.
Cities such as Vasco and Ponda, where the national highway runs through the markets, will be badly affected stated Naik. “Steps would be taken to ensure that impact is least. We are taking local MLAs into confidence,” he said, adding that the government would call a meeting of local MLAs on the issue.
Stakeholders of the tourism industry fear that this order will have an adverse affect on tourism in the state.
“Many stand-alone restaurants and famous hotels will be affected. Tourists are going to suffer as restaurants and bars are easy to spot on main roads and in major towns,” said Savio Messiah, president of Travel and Tourism Association of Goa. – Outlook India
Messaih stated that the legislative assembly should pass a resolution against the SC order.