More Bars In Kerala Likely As Government De-notifies Some Highways

According to government estimates, the shutdown of bars in the state caused a loss of around Rs 1,000 crore in the previous financial year. Kerala, before its partial prohibition policy, was ranked as the state with the highest liquor consumption.

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More Bars In Kerala Likely As Government De-notifies Some Highways

Over 150 wine and beer parlours are likely to open up after the de-notification of highways in Kerala


Thiruvananthapuram:  Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's cabinet has decided to de-notify state highways in urban areas of the state. The decision will help the state government to open up bars, which couldn't be relocated or had to be shut down after the Supreme Court order prohibiting bars within a 500 metre radius of state or national highways from functioning.

Besides Kerala, states like Punjab, Rajasthan and Karnataka are among others who have already de-notified their state highways partially.

In Kerala, around 70 three-star hotels and over 150 beer and wine parlours are likely to open up after the de-notification of the highways.

The Pinarayi Vijayan government had, in June, watered down the previous government's anti-liquor policy and allowed bars rated three-star and above to sell hard liquor.

The earlier Congress-led UDF government had introduced a partial prohibition, allowing only five-star hotels and government-run liquor outlets to sell hard liquor. The rest had been given the option of converting to beer and wine parlours.

According to government estimates, the shutdown of bars in the state caused a loss of around Rs 1,000 crore in the previous financial year. Kerala, before its partial prohibition policy, was ranked as the state with the highest liquor consumption.

However, the state government's decision to open bars has been challenged by the Anti-Liquor Collective in court.


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