Mangaluru, June 07, 2017: Supreme Court directive to close liquor shops along national highways has put people in residential areas on the alert. They are worried about such stores coming up in their residential neighbourboods and there are already many complaints to the excise department opposing such moves.
The Supreme Court has directed the shutting down of all such shops within a 500-metre distance from highways before June-end. On Tuesday, several residents of Vaidyanath Nagar, 2nd Cross in Ullal, submitted a letter to Kurshida Begum, excise deputy commissioner, alleging that more than two bars and restaurants earlier located in Thokkottu town are planning to shift near a residential area which has a commercial complex. Ullal is considered a communally sensitive area.
Residents have stated that they learnt that building owners are vacating all tenants to rent space to bars and restaurants. If so, a bar will be close to Ullal Dargah, which is just 500 metres away and the place will lose its peaceful atmosphere, they said, adding that the building has no parking space and a narrow 12-foot road.
In another incident, sources said residents of Padavu Alake near Bikarnakatte submitted a petition to the DC Excise opposing a proposed bar in the residential area.
The proposed bar is coming up in an area which has a government school, anganawadi centre, a temple and a government office and several homes.
Kurshida Begum said action will be taken if there is violation of Rule 5 of the Karnataka Excise Licenses (General Conditions), 1967. The rule states that ’no licence for sale of liquor shall be granted to a liquor shop or premises selected within a distance of 100 metres from any religious or educational institution or hospital or in a residential locality...’
However, authorities should be sensitive to the spirit of the supreme courts orders. Within Mangaluru cities there are large glaring liquor shops with bars/retail out lets along many main roads that should be considered as ’Highways’. Also many educational and religious institutions are too close to them.