Hyderabad: The state government is examining ways to exempt star hotels and prominent clubs in the city from the Supreme Court ban on sale and serving of liquor within 500 metres of state and national highways.
Hotel and club managements have urged the government to come to their rescue on the ground that they are located in core areas and cannot be termed as located near highways.
While the Excise department has started issuing notices in districts to liquor shops and bars located within 500 metres from highways to relocate as per the Supreme Court orders by March 31, it kept the notices pending in Hyderabad following instructions from the government.
Following the directions of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, Chief Secretary S.P. Singh is learnt to have held a meeting with senior officials of the excise and roads and buildings departments on Friday.
As the matter involves SC directions, the details were kept confidential. Sources said the meeting discussed denotifying highways passing through city areas to save the establishments which have been located there for decades.
“Though there is no problem with hotels and clubs located in posh areas like Jubilee Hills and Hitec City as they are beyond the 500-metre radius from highways, the problem is in the older areas like Secunderabad, Lakdikapul, and Basheerbagh from where highways pass,” said an excise official.
The government is learnt to have asked R&B department to draft modalities to denotify highways in the city. If need be, it was proposed to amend the Highways Act in Assembly Budget Session. It was decided to wait for the SC verdict on a petition filed by Indian Hotels Association seeking exemptions.
SOURCE: Times Of India