Gurgaon's Cyber Hub Deserted Day After Supreme Court's Liquor Ban Takes Effect

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Gurgaon's Cyber Hub Deserted Day After Supreme Court's Liquor Ban Takes Effect

Gurgaon's popular hangout spot, Cyber Hub, saw major dip in customers visiting the eateries in the area.

Gurgaon/ Delhi:  Restaurants in Delhi and adjacent Gurgaon wear a deserted look after the Supreme Court's directive to ban liquor service and sale 500 meters from highways. The ban, that earlier applied to liquor vendors alongside highways in the country, now applies to pubs, hotels and restaurants too. The Supreme Court ruling came into effect on April 1.

Gurgaon's popular hangout spot, Cyber Hub, that usually sees hundreds of people hobnob on a lazy Sunday, saw major dip in customers visiting the eateries in the area.

While the restaurant owners and managers say they will respect the top court ruling, hundreds of workers are scared as they foresee their jobs slipping away. "This obviously means loss and a bad business... But we hope things would get better and we continue to rely on the great food that we serve," Simran, owner of a restaurant at Gurgaon's Cyber Hub that discontinued serving liquor, told news agency IANS.

The move didn't settle too well with Cyber hub regulars either. "One who has to drink would get liquor from anywhere... Government should rather make strict norms against drunken driving," said Vikas Pandey, who works in a private company in Gurgaon and was at Cyber Hub for an evening out.

Restaurants like The Wine Company, Hard Rock Cafe and Holy Smoke and 15 others have discontinued serving liquor Saturday onwards.

Over 100 liquor vendors, and restaurant and hotel bars located within 500 metres of highways, have been shut down in the last two days following the directive to this effect.  Excise Department roam in the night to check any violation. Several outlets in the city have petitioned the excise department claiming they do not fall within 500m of highways. Sources in the department said they are "flooded" with such complaints from affected licence holders.

Some of the major restaurants and hotels located in Aerocity near the IGI Airport were also affected by the ruling.

The Supreme Court has directed that no liquor shop shall be visible and directly accessible from the highways nor it should be situated within 500 metres of the outer edge of the national or state highway or of the service lane.

The top Court bench had expressed displeasure over the alleged inaction by various states in removing liquor shops along the roads which, they believed, gave rise to drunk driving and consequential fatalities.

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A survey suggests, nearly one life is lost every four seconds in drunk driving incidents on highways every day.

(With inputs from PTI and IANS)

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