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Features

Bengaluru Pubs Run Dry a Month After SC’s Liquor Ban Near Highways

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Inside the Le Rock pub, off Bengaluru’s Brigade Road, employees resort to newspapers to fan themselves if afternoons get too hot. The air-conditioning at the pub is kept turned off to cut down on their electricity bill. Hardly any customer walks in these days. Employees take long strolls outside whenever they want. However, the story a month ago was quite the opposite.

It’s been over a month since Bengalureans visited their favourite pubs on MG Road and other party hubs of the city. Around 340 pubs and bars across the city had to stop their services as they were within 500 meters of a highway.

“The situation is such that for those who come to the pub for our food, because there is no beer, we are giving coffee in beer mugs. We have been serving beer for more than 30 years, and something like this has never happened,” he said.

Recently the apex court, while hearing petition against the Chandigarh government denotifying its city roads, clarified that there is nothing wrong with state government seeking to denotify stretches of National Highways passing through city limits.

Although this judgement gave hope to pub owners, the Karnataka government insisted that the state government can’t denotify national highways, as they come under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

With the government giving them no good news, pub owners in the city have moved the high court to fasten the denotification of highways. “A few pub owners have approached the Karnataka High Court to see how best we can shake this government to do their job and provide for the livelihoods of our employees. Another hearing is expected soon in this case,” said Ashish Kothare, a pub owner and head of Bengaluru Chapter, National Restaurant Association of India.

As the wait prolongs, the employees of pubs, who live off the tips, are suffering the most.

Source: The Quint

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