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Time no Bar, Drive high on Highway!

Thursday, June 13, 2019
By Suresh Golani

Despite rise in accidents cases on the stretch of highway between Kashimira and Vasai, police & excise wing play blind to deadline violation and illegal liquor sale.

After successfully circumventing the ban imposed by the Supreme Court, on the sale of alcohol within 500 meter of the state and national highways, in the interest of safe driving, last year, dozens of establishments including bars and restaurants lined up alongside the national highway between Ghodbunder junction (Kashimira) and Vasai have been mocking the law by operating well beyond the stipulated deadline.

Thanks to the alleged blessings bestowed by cops from the local police stations and blind eye turned by the excise department officials, the illegal trade continues to operate with brazen impunity. This despite of the fact that the stretch of highway has witnessed an alarming rise in accident cases-mostly fatal, in the past couple of months.

As per rules laid down for establishments falling under the jurisdiction of a municipal corporation, permit rooms are allowed to serve liquor from 11:30 am to 1:30 am.
While most of the licensed establishments have been flouting the stipulated deadline, some of the eateries-mostly dhabha’s are not only serving Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) in an illegal manner, but are also openly allowing their patrons to bring and consume their own alcohol bottles, albeit charging corkage ( service fee charged per bottle of liquor).

The source of unregulated IMFL bottles provided by such unlicensed establishments, poses a serious question mark on the huge revenue losses to the states exchequer. “Apart from excise violations, such illegalities raises concern over law and order issues, as criminals and anti-social elements patronizing such establishments cannot be ruled out.” alleged social activist- Anil Nautiyal.

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