The Supreme Court (SC) is sticking to its earlier verdict that ordered the banning the sale of alcohol from any retail establishments or outlets within 500 meters of state or national highways. This has wiped out almost all the liquor outlets in the port town of Vasco.
As per Vasco Excise Department’s data, Mormugao Taluka have wholesale, retail and packed bottles, retail sale and consumption (bar and restaurant) and country liquor premises, which are operating in areas where three national highways pass through.
Affected Liquor Outlets
- 15 to 20 Liquor outlets will face closure that lie between Cortalim junction to Hotel Maharaja in Verna, which is connected by the National Highway 17 (NH17)
- Approximately 140 liquor outlets will close that lie between Cortalim junction to Mormugao via Chicalim and Vasco city, which is connected by NH17 A.
- Approximately 125 liquor outlets will shut shop which fall in between Birla cross-junction to MPT via Varunapuri-Baina-Headland sada connected by NH17 B.
- Vasco City is the worst affected with two national highways passing through it and forcing the closure of about 100 liquor outlets, at the same time hotels and restaurants will henceforth be permitted to continue only with their restaurant business and no more sale of liquor.
“It is the biggest shock ever received by all of us. We were expecting that at least restaurants would be exempted but the SC order included all liquor selling premises which is a heavy blow for all dependents on liquor business,” said Vasco-based Sanjay Shetye, co owner of ‘Anantashram’ Vasco.
He further said that, “SC order will also have severe impact on tourism in Goa since none of the restaurants serving liquor in Vasco will have a tourist and we will have to depend on local populace. Also if the Excise Department tries to apply 220 metres rule for Vasco city, even then all the licensed bars and restaurants and other licensed wine shops will have to be closed as we have two national highways passing through the city,” Shetye opined.
“It is a big blow that left all of us disappointed. The SC order will now convert Vasco into a dry town of Goa from Saturday. I feel that the state government should either pass an ordinance or do something else to help locals who are involved in liquor business or else tomorrow we will have large scale unemployment with everybody involved in liquor business from Vasco hunting for alternate livelihood,” said Vasco based Joaquim Rodrigues, owner of Rodrigues Wines stores. – Herald
“Goa is the only state in the country to produce legalised country liquor and now with the SC order our culture and tradition will be killed. I am more disappointed today because I left my well-settled job in a foreign country only to continue my family’s Bar and Restaurant business and now with SC order I am confused about the future as though we were popular for serving best Goan food but without liquor my business will have severe impact. Overall Goem and Goenkarponn will vanish if some relief is not given to liquor serving outlets in Goa,” said Silvester D’Souza, owner Sheela Bar and Restaurant, Vasco.
Content and quotations of this story have been used from the story published by OHeraldo.