Kolkata–Liquor sellers who have outlets along highways are looking for a solution from the West Bengal government after the Supreme Court’s ban order that has rendered over 13,000 workers jobless.

The apex Court on March 31 said vendors, hotels and restaurants falling within 500 metres on either side of national and state highways cannot serve liquor.

A bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice L. Nageswara Rao, however, relaxed the ban to 220 metres in respect of municipal bodies with 20,000 or less population falling along the highways.

“As many as 2,140 outlets across districts have been affected,” said Pradyut Saha, General Secretary of the All Bengal Excise Licensees Association.

According to industry sources, outlets which were forced to close after the apex court’s order have liquor stock worth about Rs 400-450 crore.

“Unless a solution is worked out, it would affect the owners of bars, restaurants and workers. Even the state government will lose excise revenue,” Saha added. (IANS)

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