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India’s highways run day after liquor ban


Indian Supreme Court has banned the sale of liquor along national and state highways across the country from April 1st.

The ruling was meant to curb drink driving, but it has also shut down thousands of bars and restaurants that serve tourists and office workers.

STANDUP (English): ASHWANI UPADHYAY, CNC Correspondent
“The recent ban on the sale of liquor on Indian highways is impacting the lives of almost one third of the total liquor-vendors present in the country. This ban is not just impacting the liquor industry but the entire hospitality sector in India which is already going through a tough phase.”

Thousands of liquor outlets have been forced to close due to the order that bans the sale of alcohol within a 500-meter range of a highway.

The court even lowered the threshold to 220 meters for towns with a population of less than 20,000.

The ban is expected to bring down alcohol sales in the country by 8 to 10 percent. Insiders say the drop is likely to expand up to 15 percent as about 40,000 outlets, star-hotels, bars and restaurants stopped selling liquor.

SOUNDBITE (English): RAHUL SINGH, National Restaurant Association of India
“I can tell you that on annualized basis, 150 million Indian rupees worth of business is down the trend. That also has a direct impact downstream on the employees on the people who work there. It also has a direct impact on supply-chain, tourism. I think the overall damage will be far beyond the numbers…”

India has the world’s deadliest roads. Government data show nearly 150,000 people killed in 2015. Of those, more than 6,700 deaths were due to drunk driving.

The government has launched fresh initiatives to make roads safer, including revamping infrastructure and proposed stringent laws.

Under a new proposed law drunken drivers would be fined up to 154 U.S. dollars and handed jail terms ranging from three to six months.

Source : CNC News

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