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Highway liquor ban: Centre’s decision leaves pub owners dispirited


BENGALURU: Dark clouds are not just hovering over Bengaluru skies but also over the future of several pubs and bars across the city.

It’s been over two months since the watering holes in the city, within a radius of 500 metres from highways, stopped serving liquor following the Supreme Court’s directive. Some places continued to have steady business despite the ban, while others chose to shut shop hoping that the competent authority would denotify the highways in municipal limits.

But it looks like the ban is likely to continue as the Centre is not keen to denotify highways. The Centre communicated this to the High Court of Karnataka on Thursday.

Raghunath, Manager of Russh Gastropub on Church Street, says that the management is incurring losses but is still clueless about the future.

“We shut down for a while as the TenderSure work has rendered the Church Street in a bad shape. So we wanted some time off to think about it. A couple of weeks later we reopened and since then we have seen a steady inflow, but nothing compared to the crowds we used to have earlier,” he said.

A manager of a popular pub in the area, says, they have seen a drastic fall in the number of customers, “We have seen almost a 75% fall in the number of customers, there isn’t much we can do about it. We have a tie-up with another eatery with whom we share a common kitchen so if that fills up then we have people in.”

Owner of a watering hole on Church Street says the onus is on the state government to act fast and get a solution in place. “As of now the Centre and the state governments are just pushing things back and forth. We have already filed a writ petition in the High Court of Karnataka against the civic bodies in the state that need to speed up the process.”

Source: Deccan Herald

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