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After 5 months, booze back in hotels, bars from today


CHANDIGARH: Your favourite watering holes will be back in business after a gap of more than five months from Wednesday. Hotels and bars within the municipal limits of the city that were affected by the Supreme Court order will start selling liquor.

The apex court on December 15, 2016, had imposed a ban on sale of liquor within 500 metres of state and national highways. On July 11, the court clarified that the ban is not applicable within municipal limits.

After getting clearance from legal remembrancer (LR), the UT excise and taxation department on Tuesday started accepting application from hoteliers. The department will start issuing permits after taking a licence fee of Rs 6 lakh from each hotelier.

The LR in its opinion asked the excise department to start issuing license to hotels and bars located within municipal limits. The owners, who were eagerly waiting for resumption of sale of liquor, rushed to the department to submit their applications.

Talking to TOI, UT additional excise and taxation commissioner Rakesh Kumar Popli said hoteliers have started applying for the renewal of licence. He further said each application will be put up before excise and taxation commissioner for approval, after which a permit will be issued. “We will try to issue permits to all hoteliers who will apply within two days,” said Popli.

Ashok Bansal, general secretary, Chandigarh Hotel Association, said the hospitality sector suffered huge losses in last five months and the administration should issue permits at the earliest.


100 hotels and restaurants on national and state highways were hit

60% dip in revenue

2,000 people working in different hotels and restaurants lost their jobs

70% drop of sale in the business of poultry farms supplying chicken

60% dip in the sale of grocery items -packed snacks, beverages and cooking supplies

Punjab made early move

To escape the ban, the Punjab government has already amended Section 26-A of the Punjab Excise Act, 1914, to allow sale of liquor in hotels and restaurants within 500 metres of the national and state highways. However, there is no change in restriction on liquor vends on national and state highways.


December 15, 2016| SC impose ban on sale of liquor within 500 metres of national and state highways.

March 16 | Administration de-notified V1, V2 and V3 roads as state highways.

March 30 | Administration announced excise policy for 2017-18 and did not to renew licence of restaurants and hotels falling within limit of 500 metres of national and state highways

March 31 | SC dismisses bunch of petitions seeking modification of its order banning liquor vendors along national and state highways

April 1 | Punjab and Haryana high court upheld the stand of the UT administration on de-notification of highways

April 2 | Road safety activist Harman Sidhu challenges decision of administration to de-notify highways

April 6 | Hoteliers move HC against the decision of administration of not de-notifying Madhya Marg as state highway

April 17 | HC upholds the decision of administration to de-notify highways.

July 11 | The apex court issues clarification that December 15 order does not prohibit licensed establishments within municipal areas.

Source: Times Of India

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