Bhubaneswar: Following the order of Supreme Court, the Odisha government on Saturday initiated the process to relocate the liquor shops along the highways in the state.
Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi directed Excise and Works departments to work together to identify the liquor shops presently operating within 500 meters of distance from highways within a month. He held a meeting at the state secretariat here.
Notably, the Supreme Court has banned all liquor shops within 500 meters of both the state and national highways across the country. All are to be complied by April 1 this year.
Excise secretary Bishnupada Sethi said the state may lose about Rs 1100 crore revenue annually if the order of Supreme Court is implemented. Out of the total 3,922 liquor shops operating across the state, 1,712 shops come under the purview of the apex court order.
The major reason behind the ban is to decrease the number of road accidents caused due to drunken driving.
According to a report of National Road Safety Council and National Highways Authority of India, a total number of 4.9 lakh road accidents took place in the whole country in 2011. Out of which, around 24,655 were caused due to drunken driving.
In the year 2012, the total number of road accidents was at the same level of 4.9 lakhs out of which around 23,979 accidents took place because of the drunken driving.
In the country, around 10,553 persons lost their lives in accidents during 2011 and 7835 during the year 2012.