Bar owners, hoteliers turn to state govts for relief

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Bar owners, hoteliers turn to state govts for relief

Chandigarh, Apr 3 (PTI) With the apex court banning the sale of liquor within 500 metres of highways, the affected hotel, bar and restaurant owners in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh are pinning hopes on the respective state governments to save their trade.

The owners have alleged that the order would result in massive unemployment and financial loss to the state exchequer. They, however, ruled out approaching the court to seek a remedy in the issue.

“Aroumd 25,000 people will be jobless in Haryana alone because of the ban on serving liquor (within 500 metres of highways),” Hotel and Restaurant Association of Haryana (HRAH), President, Manbeer Chaudhary said today.

“The tourism sector in the state will be most affected.

Besides, the state revenue will also be badly hit,” he said.

Terming the matter as a “mammoth problem”, Chaudhary said that the respective state governments should pitch in and save their livelihoods.

“We have decided that we will not approach the judiciary for any legal remedy,” he said, adding that it is the government which has many options to bring relief to the traders.

The HRAH representatives also met Haryana Excise and Taxation Minister Captain Abhimanyu and apprised him of the situation.

“The minister was very positive and asked us to give a representation in this regard, which we have already done,” Chaudhary said.

“In our representation, we have told the government to take a stand in the apex court as excise is a state matter, and states should have been consulted before passing any judgement,” he said.

The HRAH chief further said that there were several cities in Haryana having bypass, and that there was no meaning of state highways.

He said that the immediate fallout of the ban has come in the form of cancellation of rooms by tour operators, causing massive loss to the hotel industry.

“Out of 478 bars in Haryana, 194 bars will be affected by the Supreme Court order and most of them are situated in Gurugram,” he said. (MORE)

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.