State Coffers To Lose Rs 1,100 Cr If All Liquor Shops Near Highways Shut: Odisha Excise Secretary

**Bhubaneswar: ** As the Supreme Court’s December 15, 2016 decree banning all liquor shops within 500 metres of both the State and National Highways (SHs & NHs) across the country to be complied by April 1 at any cost by the respective State Governments, Odisha’s exchequer will suffer loss to a tune of Rs 1,100 crore per fiscal year as 1,712 such shops are coming under the apex court’s verdict purview.

Briefing to media after an important meeting in this regard at the State Secretariat here on Saturday, Excise Secretary Bishnupada Sethi said, “The State will lose Rs 1089,78, 40, 300 crore revenue if all the liquor shops and five star hotels within 500 meter from the highways are closed in pursuance of the Supreme Court judgement.”

“Out of total 3,922 liquor shops settled across Odisha, 1,712 shops come under the purview,” he informed.

Sethi also informed that the drive for identification and relocation will be launched from the district level first. The concerned Collectors, Excise Superintendents, Works and Rural Development (RD) officers have been asked to identify the shops and relocate them as per the yardstick.

“Three months time left for compliance of the Supreme Court order and it will be complied,” he averred.

Aditya Prasad Padhi, Chief Secretary, Odisha said, “As per the Supreme Court’s directive on December 15, liquor shops should not be within 500 meters from the National Highways and State Highways. This decision is to be implemented from April 1, 2017. Accordingly, the practical points before the implementation were discussed today. There is some confusion on the exact number of such liquor shops. There was no more clarity on how to calculate the 500 meter distance. Hence, thorough discussion was held today on the requisite parameters.”

Prominent among others at the meeting were DGP K.B. Singh, Twin City Police Commissioner Y.B. Khurania, Home Secretary Asit Tripathy and Works Secretary Nalinikanta Pradhan.