Yep, you heard that right, Punekars- the highway liquor ban, which was implemented on the April 1 of this year to curb drunk driving on National highways, has been partially lifted by the Supreme Court.
Restaurants and bars that were majorly affected by this can finally breathe a sigh of relief after a five-month drop in business; as can we! To those who had worked some creative ways around this; i.e. closing front entrances and opening back doors, well, looks like you won’t need that anymore!
But here’s the catch- the ban is not lifted entirely, however, Supreme Court has declared that roads within city limits will no longer be considered national highways.
According to several reports, and much mayhem *ahem*, the Court observed that the purpose of this ban was to ensure that drivers under the influence of alcohol were not on high-speed national highways. There was no reason not to de-notify roads within city that were previously considered a part of the national highway.
In fact, several reports state that multiple vast stretches of roads in Maharasthra have already been de-notified and labeled as state/city roads, only days after the court’s order. The reason for changing the categories has not been specified.
We’re predicting others to soon follow suit; it isn’t quite so simple though, when de-notifying a highway, the state loses central assistance needed for its upkeep. So, what’s it going to be? Serving liquor within 500 m. or the central support?
In the meantime, businesses and citizens can both rejoice as Pune will have many of its favourite hang-out spots back!