Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 18:
Despite the Supreme Court ruling to shift liquor shops at least 500 meters away from the national and state highways, Odisha Excise Minister Damodar Rout today said that the order will be impossible to implement.
“It is impossible to move liquor shops 500 metre away from the highways. There usually are villages, temples, mutts and people would object to liquor shops there. How will they open liquor shops? These kind of issues will come up in large numbers,” said Rout.
“Quite possibly, most liquor shops won’t apply for licenses under such circumstances. But, that anyway will be a good thing,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of Odisha Liquor Sellers’ Association said that it will convene a meeting of the managing body to mull its option.
“We will call a managing body meeting over this issue. We will consult all the members to figure out the way forward,” said Prabhat Das.
It may be mentioned here that in a ruling on December 15, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur said that the liquor shops must be moved at least 500 meters away from state and national highways. The judges further ordered that liquor banners and ads be removed from these spots.
Expressing concern over the 1.5 lakh deaths that occur every year in road accidents across the country, the court had asked the Chief Secretary and police chiefs of states to enforce the ruling by April 1, 2017.