A bar wears a deserted look after the Supreme Court ruling. File Pic
Just shy of a month since the apex court ruling against selling liquor within 500 metres of state and national highways, Pune's two civic bodies - Pune Municipal Corporation and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation - are already feeling the pinch of the order.
Now, following in Mumbai's footsteps, they have approached the Public Works Department (PWD) to declassify the state and national highways so that the liquor shops can return to the status quo.
On May 12, in their bid to restart businesses of the 1,680 liquor-selling units, the two bodies moved an application before the chief engineer of PWD, requesting the department to transfer the road jurisdiction to them.
In Pune city, around 10 state highways and two national highways are connected, leading to the widespread shutdown of wine shops, bars and restaurants selling alcohol.
On March 29, a meeting called by district collector Saurabh Rao along with commissioners of municipal corporations and state excise department officials also discussed the issue in detail.
In a letter, PMC commissioner Kunal Kumar stated, "It's a request for de-classification of roads from PWD to municipal corporation limits. Such powers of de-classification can only be carried out by the PWD. These roads are maintained and repaired by the municipal corporation; so, since we are spending on it, we must also benefit from it."
PWD chief engineer Pravin Kide said, "We have received the letters from both the municipals corporations, and have approached our expert team to look into it. We will submit a report to the government accordingly."
1,680 Number of liquor-selling units that were shut down after the SC ruling