Good decision, say Gurugram liquor vendors

The Supreme Court order on Thursday to shut down all liquor shops along National and State Highways has evoked mixed reaction from liquor vendors in Gurugram.

While some said it was a good decision in the larger interest of humanity, others feared that it would impact sales. Liquor vends in Haryana were shifted from National and State Highways in 2014 following the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Dip in sales

The orders had come on a petition by Chandigarh-based non-government organisation Arrive Safe Society, which had moved the court in 2012 seeking complete ban on liquor vends on highways.

The owner of a liquor vend earlier located at Jharsa Chowk near National Highway 8 and later shifted inside following the High Court order maintained that sales had dipped by over 40 per cent.

“We did brisk business when the shop was located near the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway. A majority of our customers comprised those travelling on the highway, including truck drivers and motorists. But sales were hit badly after the vend was shifted in Sector 31 market following the High Court orders,” said the owner.

However, he felt that shifting of vends from highways would have little impact on cases of drunken driving.

Drunken driving

“Even if liquor is not available along National Highways, one can always buy it beforehand. Those who are fond of drinking will not stop because of this,” the owner added.

Pawan Pahuja, who is involved in the liquor business, welcomed the decision saying it was in the larger interest of humanity.

“Nothing is more precious than human life. This decision is already in force in Haryana. If implemented across the country, it would bring about a change. With liquor not readily available along highways, there would be a dip in cases of drunken driving,” said Mr. Pahuja.

Profit margins hit

However, he said, granting of liquor licences through tendering has brought down profit margins in the business drastically.

Dilbagh Singh, the Joint Director, Excise and Taxation, told The Hindu that liquor vends in Haryana were not allowed within a distance of 300 m to 500 m from National and State Highways following the High court orders.

Mr. Singh added that none of the liquor vends face the highways.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 11:23:44 PM |

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