Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 7:
Acting on the Supreme Court verdict, the Odisha government today decided to shift liquor outlets within 500 metres of national and state highways by March 31.
Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi chaired a high level meeting at the state secretariat where a decision in this regard was taken.
“We had no clarity on calculation of 500 metre. We had a detailed discussion on the parameters on these today,” Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said.
The participants discussed the implementation of the apex court order and identification of liquor shops.
Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Excise, Bishnupada Sethi said: “There are 3922 liquor shops along the national and state highways of which 1712 outlets come under the identified zone. The state would suffer a loss of about Rs 1100 crore Excise revenue if the shops are shut.”
Besides, the state government today also issued a direction to the Excise and Works departments to wrap up the process of identifying liquor vends located within 500 metres of highways within a month.
DGP KB Singh, Home Secretary and other senior officials were present in the meeting.
On December 15 last year, the apex court had directed the Chief Secretaries and police chiefs of the states to implement the order.
A three-judge bench headed by the then Chief Justice TS Thakur had ordered removal of all signages of alcohol vends along highways as it expressed serious concern over 1. 5 lakh fatalities every year in road accidents, a majority of them attributed to drink driving.