The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to take steps to implement the Supreme Court's directive on banning liquor shops on state and national highways.
The state has reportedly given these shops time only till March 31, as a new notification of licenses for liquor shops which will be valid from April 1, will automatically cancel the licenses of the existing outlets on the highway.
The Hindu reported that as many as 198 shops out of 232 have been served notices, while only 55 shop owners have made arrangements to shift to a new venue.
Many shop owners were seeking time to shift, citing difficulty in renting new premises.
Meanwhile, the Andhra government has reportedly decided to grant a 27 month license to the highway shops that shift by March end, and a regular 24 month license to other outlets.
This is because the present licenses of the shops are only expected to expire in June, and the state has considered the three month extension for those that face closure.
The Times of India reported that the state has fixed the licence fee between Rs 7.5 lakh and Rs 16.25 lakh depending on the population in the area.
When it comes to alcohol, a survey revealed, that as of January 2014, Andhra Pradesh has the highest percentage of male drinkers in South India.
The survey stated that Andhra Pradesh consumed 34.5 litres per year while Kerala consumed 10.2 litres of alcohol per year.
At 5.5%, youngsters in Andhra Pradesh consume the most alcohol compared to other South Indian states. Neighbouring Telangana comes next with 5.1%.
However, Andhra Pradesh consumed more toddy and country liquor than beer, foreign liquor and wine.