827 liquor outlets to go dry from midnight

827 liquor outlets to go dry from midnight

827 liquor outlets to go dry from midnight

 The day that tipplers and bar-hoppers in Bengaluru dreaded is here, as 827 liquor outlets and restaurants with bars within 500 metres of the highways in the city will either shut down or go dry from Friday midnight.

Officials of the Excise department are preparing a zone-wise list of the outlets and the list is getting longer every day. “The number of outlets and bars is likely to increase as we are still identifying those which fall under the closure order,” an official of the Excise department said.

Liquor outlets, bars, clubs, restaurants and luxury hotels serving alcohol in several areas, including the MG Road, Indiranagar, Koramangala, BTM Layout, Bannerghatta Road, Old Madras Road, Mysuru Road, Kanakapura Road, Ballari Road and Tumakuru Road, will be affected.

At least 50% of the names in the list are of outlets in the heart of the city. Of these, 97 are in Ashoknagar alone. 15 of them are in Indiranagar, 35 in Halasuru, 14 in Whitefield, 15 in KR Puram and two in Jeevan Bima Nagar.

Brandon Patrao, a techie from Bengaluru who works in Hyderabad, says that he had heard about bars and pubs on MG Road, Brigade Road and Church Street facing closure. “I was shocked to hear that Indiranagar pubs also have to shut down. The nightlife in most parts of Bengaluru will take a big hit. During my college days we used to go out to play a couple of rounds of pool, have a few beers and then head for home. Those scenes will never be the same,” said Brandon.

Vijay, a regular to Pecos for 17 years, said it does not make sense if the state government wakes up so late to denotify the highways in the city limits, the onus falls on the government because they are the elected representatives of the people.

“I believe Bengalureans are responsible drinkers and that the responsibility depends on the individual. But will this bring down drinking? It isn’t that people will not get alcohol anywhere else. The government should have worked towards promoting responsible driving and not just shut down all bars and pubs. Being the Beer Capital of India, this happening to Bengaluru is just a shame.”

Most star hotels across Bengaluru refused to comment on the issue. A spokesperson from a well-known five star hotel said, “We will face losses upto Rs 25 to 30 crore per annum if we are not allowed to serve alcohol in our hotels. This will result in us having stock worth crores and will take forever to finish.

Other citizens also expressed displeasure, saying that they were all for the order if it applied to National Highways alone and not to the so-called highways which pass through the heart of the city.