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Goa Liquor Traders seek relief for entire state under SC order

23rd March 2018, 02:03 Hrs

the goan I network
The President of Goa Liquor Traders Association, Dattaprasad Naik, has said that his association is hoping that the state government will give relief to liquor vendors in the entire state under the Supreme Court’s (SC) February order.  
Through its February order, the apex court has allowed the state government to decide whether ban on sale of alcohol within 500 meters from national and state highways should be imposed or not on areas, which are either too close to municipal areas or are sufficiently developed. 
In simple words, the ball is entirely in the state government’s court now to decide exactly which areas in Goa will get the benefit of lifting of the ban on sale of alcohol within 500 meters from the highways in the next financial year, 2018-19.
As it is, the ban is not applicable to highways going through municipal areas.  
Naik said, “After the latest SC order was issued, our association approached the Excise Commissioner and had detailed discussions with him on this issue. The Excise Commissioner has sent the file to the state government to classify which areas of the state can get relief under the apex court’s latest order.” 
“Since Goa is a developed state and no area along the highways is backward, we think liquor licenses in entire state can get relief from ban on sale of alcohol within 500 meters of highways. Along the highways, whether from Patradevi to Polem or Vasco to Mollem, Goa is a developed state. Therefore, relief can be given to the entire state,” Naik concluded. 
The SC through its original order in December 2016 had banned the sale of alcohol within 500 meters of national and state highways across the country. Subsequent to that, a number of states made representations and the court gave relief on its original order several times.  
The latest relief was given in February this year when the apex court has allowed the state governments to decide for themselves whether the ban should continue or not in certain areas.  
The Goan Everyday, in its March 21 edition, had reported that 20 liquor license-holders from Porvorim have already approached the excise department to get relief.