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Excise department offers breather to Cyber Hub, Gurgaon hotels


Haryana’s excise department will use `motorable distance’ as the benchmark to decide a bar’s distance from the highway in Gurgaon, a decision that may come as a reprieve for places like Cyber Hub that feared lo sing their liquor licences after April 1.

Nearly 200 bars in Gurgaon, all in Cyber Hub, most in Sector 29 and those in premier hotels like the Leela, Trident, Oberoi and Westin -have not been able to sell liquor because of their proximity to NH-8 after the Supreme Court ordered that bars located within 500 metres of a state or national highway could not serve alcohol from April 1.

On Sunday , leading hoteliers met in the city and sought help from the state and central governments to find a way out of the crisis, saying they were losing thousands of crores in revenue nationally and job losses were imminent. The excise department’s decision to measure `motorable distance’ will give several outlets a breather, particularly the 35 bars and restaurants with liquor licences in Cyber Hub, which believes it will escape the 500-metre axe. As will most of Sector 29 and some of the leading hotels.

In the meantime, little tweaks have already been made to increase motorable distance from the highway .Cyber Hub’s entry near the Rapid Metro station next to Shankar chowk has been moved further inside Cyber City to make motorable distance a little over 1km from NH-8. Similarly , Ambience mall and Leela Kempinski, located right on NH-8, have shifted the entry to make their motorable distance from the highway more than 500 metres.

HC Dahiya, excise commissioner, west Gurgaon, said, “We will start the process of measurement for pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels on Wednesday . If the motorable distance is beyond 500 metres, we will renew the licences. If not, they will continue to be sealed.”

Asked if legal advice was sought before deciding on motorable distance, Dahiya said the directions had come from the head office in Chandigarh, and the decision had been taken after consultations with lawyers.

 The method of measurements had been the subject of intense speculation since the Supreme Court’s March 31 order. Most believed `motorable distance’ was the right yardstick because it reflects the actual distance travelled as opposed to drawing a straight line inward, as the crow flies, from the highway.
Rahul Singh, who heads the Haryana chapter of National Restaurants Association of India and owns The Beer Club, had told TOI on March 31, “Some weeks back, an official from the Gurgaon excise department conducted a measurement exercise at Cyber Hub and the access to the first restaurant with a liquor licence was 513 metres from the highway , which is beyond the prescribed buffer distance.”

On Monday , asked about the developments, Singh said, “As per the honourable court’s order, 500 metres is the prescribed buffer. Therefore, motorists have to take an extra effort to drive that distance to cross that buffer. We as responsible establishments have to work in tandem with town planners to achieve the objective of the court order by creating deterrence for such motorists.”
Source: Times of India

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