Mumbai: Hit by the apex court order banning the liquor sale along the highways, the members of the Hotel And Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) will take up the issue with Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis.
“We will be meeting the chief minister tomorrow to discuss the impact of liquor ban on employment and other issues related to the industry,” HRAWI President Dilip Datwani told PTI here. The Supreme Court has ordered closure of the liquor vends within 500 metres along the national and the state highways from April 1. The apex court later in its order on Friday made it clear that the judgment banning the liquor vends along the highways would also be applicable to the bars, pubs and restaurants as drunken driving leads to fatal road accidents. Around 9,925 restaurants and bars in Maharashtra have been affected by the Supreme Court order banning liquor sale in vicinity of highways, he said.
Maharashtra has 13,655 bars and shops, with over 500 affected ones are in Mumbai alone, said former president Kamlesh Barot of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI). He said, “In Mumbai metropolitan region alone over 2,000 bars and restaurants are on the verge of closure while 9,925 face the risk across Maharashtra.” “The state government will lose over Rs 7,000 crores in taxes, excise and license fees, while the country-wide impact on the sector is estimated at Rs 2,00,000 crore,” Barot added.
This would be in addition to an estimated job loss of over one million heads currently employed in the hospitality sector. Datwani said, unlike many other countries, the highways run right through the cities and towns in India with many bars and restaurants, hotels, malls, cinema halls, clubs and even residential apartments existing right next to the highways.
“About 50 star rated hotels in Mumbai are also expected to be affected by the ban and tourists may find themselves exposed to a scenario of severely shrinking choices,” he said. This will wreck the demand supply ratio of full service hotels in the city, and affect the tourism infrastructure, he added.