Kerala: Excise department refuses to give license to bar with serpentine maze

Sriparna Ghosh
Liquor ban

Aishwarya Restobar at Paravur in Kerala's Kollam district, which made headlines for coming up with a unique idea to beat the directive of the Supreme Court that ordered closure of liquor shops and bars within 500 metres of highways, is back in the news again.

Ban on bars and liquor shops on highways: Here's what owners are doing to keep their business going

However, the bar, which was hailed for building a serpentine maze of 250-300 metres to keep the bar beyond the 500-metre limit, may not get the required permit from the excise department.

According to reports, excise officers have said that as per the rules laid down by the Supreme Court, the distance between the periphery of the highway and shortest way to the bar will be measured as the distance between the bar and the highway, and not the length of the road.

"The distance is calculated from the outer periphery of the road to the entrance through the shortest pathway. The pathway should be a public pathway and not a private one," Deputy Excise Commissioner Narayanan Kutty told the Times of India.

The News Minute had earlier reported that, Shoji, the manager of the bar, had spent Rs 2 lakh to build the maze. But this restobar is not the only one that came up with the unique idea to defy SC's order. Malls like Cyber Hub, which is within 500 metres of the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway, and Ambience Mall located on National Highway 8 in Haryana have diverted the routes to their entrance.

According to the Hindustan Times, Ambience Mall has closed the entrance to Leela Ambience Hotel and visitors have to now drive around the residential complex before entering the hotel.

The Supreme Court had taken the decision to ban bars and liquor shops on highways while hearing a PIL (public interest litigation) filed by NGO Arrive Safe. According to the data provided by the NGO, out of the 1.42 lakh road accident deaths that take place in India every year, most are due to driving under the influence of alcohol.

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