Ironically, Harman Sidhu, the man behind the ban of alcohol in clubs and pubs and the closure of liquor vends along the highway, loves his daily dose of booze too.
Sidhu is a road safety activist and is the one who had filed the Public Interest Litigation against liquor vends being on highways for he had also been involved in one of such drunk driving accidents. His NGO, ‘Arrive Safe’ had filed the PIL in the Haryana and the Punjab High Court against the accidents happening due to drunk driving and wanted the ban of the liquor vends on the National and the State Highway to prevent people from buying alcohol from the roads and drinking and then ultimately getting involved in accidents.
As a result of the PIL, the Supreme Court passed a regulation banning all the liquor vends within 500 metres of the National and the State Highways effective from the 1st of April. But some states like that of Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya and places with a population up to 20,000 may have the liquor vends at a distance of 220 metres from the highways.
The protest at the Sector 17 complex on April 3, 2017 saw a huge number of people from the hotel and the service industry coming down and holding a silent protest against the decision of the Supreme Court to include even the clubs, hotels, pubs and lounges in this ruling. Wearing a white shirt and a black band across their arms, there were owners and workers, managers and staff in attendance and slogans like “What will we do now?”, “Who will pay our salaries or for the investment we already did in these establishments?”, “Who is responsible for our jobs?”, and so on were seen written on placards and displayed, showing the woes of the people who have been affected by this ban. Thousands of people have lost their jobs because the liquor vends can still be relocated, but it isn’t possible to relocate a hotel, for in Tricity hotels of the like of The Taj, JW Marriott have got their liquor licences cancelled.
But will this ban actually help in curbing the menace of drunk driving? Won’t an addict travel a distance of 800 metres or a kilometre for his alcohol of bottle? Wouldn’t it be more feasible to strictly enforce the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 rather than roping the clubs and the service industry into this ban and affecting millions of workers and the tourism Industry at large?
About the Author:
Commentator on all things brewed, fermented, distilled and delectable looking! Hedontist at large. Travelling! Books! Coffee! Clothes! A bcom(honours) student at GGDSD College and an animal lover.
About the Photographer:
Hello I am Dhairya Mahendru. I am doing BBA from DAV College. I am passionate about photography and blogging; with that I run on coffee.