Following footsteps of various State Governments, the Government of Odisha has notified several State Highways (SH) and Major District Road (MDR)s falling within the limits of Urban Local Bodies as “Urban Roads”.
Rajasthan, West Bengal and several other State Governments have de-notified State Highways as “Arterial Roads” to prevent “Highway Liquor Ban” in the State.
Department of Works (DoW) today brought out a notification in this regard today without assigning any reasons.
DoW notification says that all road sections of Works Department falling within the limits of Municipal Corporation, Municipality, Notified Area Council, Sub Division, Block and Tehsil Headquarters will be treated as “Urban Roads”.
Now onwards these roads shall be improved taking all Urban Characteristics into account under State Plan for improvement of Urban Roads.
Accordingly the Chief Engineer Roads will bring out a Consolidated List of Urban Roads as per the above classification for improvement of these roads.
However the National Highways passing through Urban Areas are not covered, clarified the Notification.
This step of the State Government will help out the liquor shop owners, who are facing tough time due to Supreme Court Order to close down all liquor shops within 500 Meters of National Highways and State Highways.
Apex Court Order has hit at least 1167 Liquor shops both IMFL Open, Hotels, Restaurants, Bars, Country, Out Still shops and even Military Canteens.
These establishments were closed down from midnight of 31 March and the State is likely to lose Rs.1200 Crore per annum plus VAT if these shops are allowed to remain closed for the year.
While the State Government was expecting Rs.3300 Crore from Excise Revenue during 2017-18, it is expected that the State will be able to collect Rs.2100 Crore in the fiscal due to Apex Court Order, said sources.
In the meantime several Hoteliers has given a memorandum to the State Government that as their Licensed Bars are situated below the elevated National Highway and the vehicles have no direct access to their Hotels from the National Highways, the distance from the Bars to NH are needed to be measured properly.
Several Hoteliers of the Capital City have urged the State Government in this regard saying these Hotels, which also have Bars situated below the elevated National Highway-16 provides no direct access to the Bar premises.
The vehicles must exit the elevated National Highway at the exit ramp and use the City roads and drive under the elevated NH through an Under Bridge to make their ways to Bars.
Hence the distance between Exit Points from National Highway to Bars should be measured accordingly.
And the Competent Authority in Department of Works can certify the distance from NH to Bars and accordingly the Excise authorities are to take action in order to implement Supreme Court Order.
Considering their plea, the Department of Excise has asked the Collector Khurda to dispose the grievance petitions of these Bar Owners after taking fresh measurements of the distances and furnish a Detailed Report on the action taken, said official sources.