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90 liquor shops mull shift to escape apex court ban


PUNE: Hit hard by falling revenues, as many as 90 liquor stores, permit rooms, bars and restaurants in the district have decided to shift their premises outside 500m of national and state highways to circumvent the Supreme Court ban.
Of the 90, about 12 restaurants and bars — mostly from rural areas — have also applied to the excise department to shift outside the periphery of highway, officials told TOI.

An excise department official said, “Applicants wishing to shift outside the 500-meter highway radius have now lost all hope of any change in the rules. They have, therefore, decided to shift so that they can resume serving liquor.”
The 90 applications have come from wine shops, bars or permit rooms, country liquor shops, beer shops and some restaurants. “These establishments will have to apply afresh for various licences before they can shift. Once they get all the necessary licences, including the food and drug licence, they can shift,” the official said.
President of Pune Restaurants and Hoteliers Association, Ganesh Shetty, said that for restaurants and permit rooms in the city, shifting is next to impossible. “Commercial property rates in the city are sky high. Most restaurants are spread over 1,000sqft to 3,000sqft area. Shifting is only possible for permit rooms and bars in rural areas,” he said.
The excise official added that the liquor ban continues to hurt revenue. “Some restaurants are more popular for their food than liquor. In such restaurants, the liquor revenue will be just 10% of the total revenue, with 90% from food. After the ban, these restaurants on highway have seen almost a 30% drop in food revenue as well,” he said. Close to 300 restaurants in Pune and 200 in rural areas have shut indefinitely following the ban.

Source:  Telangana Today

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