Twenty days after Supreme Court’s order to close down liquor outlets and bars across India which fall within 500ms of motorable distance from state and national highways, the Tamil Nadu government is reported to be in the process of denotifying Anna Salai as a state highway, and make it a city road, to help reopen liquor outlets and bars attached to star hotels, according to a report on Times of India.
However, a source from highways department told TNM that they have not received any information on this so far, and that it is likely that all the 3000-odd kilometers of state highways in the state will be denotified together, and not just Anna Salai.
The Times of India reports that the denotification will be taking place in a couple of days. Sources told the paper that the government has plans to downgrade the highway from Chennai till Chengalpet, and that this is being discussed at the highest levels of the government.
The section of NH45 till Tambaram on GST Road from Chennai is under the highways’ purview. An official from NHAI told TOI that the tollway between Tambaram and Chengalpet will remain under the purview of highways and the state government cannot take control of it till November 2019.
On March 31, the apex court ruled that the national ban on sale of liquor within a particular distance of National and State Highways will be upheld. The judgment says that these establishments cannot function from April 1, 2017.
SC also said that the ban extends to not just liquor vending shops, but bars and pubs too. In cities and large towns, these establishments cannot function if they are within 500 metres of a highway.
More than 100 star hotels were shut down on April 1 in Chennai. About 28 TASMAC outlets were also shut in south Chennai. The areas which come under the Supreme Court include Anna Salai, Ponnamallee High Road, ECR, OMR and 100 Feet Road, reported TOI.