Goa failed to gauge the SC order on liquor ban: AAP
Panaji, April 5: The Aam Aadmi Party in Goa has accused the Manohar Parrikar government of being lax in tackling the situation which arose in the tourist state following the SC order banning sale of liquor along highways.
We express grave concern over the laxity with which the state government is dealing with the alarming situation which has risen out of the Supreme Court ruling on liquor outlets along highways," AAP leader Elvis Gomes told media persons on Tuesday.
Both the government and the Opposition in Goa miserably failed to gauge the seriousness of the issue throughout the two-year-long proceedings in the Supreme Court, he added. "Why did Goa not present its case like Sikkim and Meghalaya did, and seek exemptions and special provisions for Goa ?" Gomes asked.
The AAP has demanded that the Goa government work towards getting state highways de-notified wherever legally feasible. National highways where by-pass roads are already commissioned, those portions should also be de-notified," he felt. Gomes said in the meantime, the office of advocate general of Goa and state law department be instructed to work on approaching the SC with Goa's special case citing the 105-km coastline and 33 per cent forest cover of the state to seek exemption and/or reduction in the buffer zone adjoining the highways.
Chief Minister Parrikar on Tuesday said that his government was contemplating approaching the SC for proper clarification on the order and possibly seek some special consideration for the tourist state. He said that following the SC order pronounced on March 31, around 1,000 out of 3,000-odd outlets in Goa that were facing closure got a respite but the problem persists for the remaining 2,000 vends.
The apex court on March 31 modified its order banning liquor vends within 500 metres on national and state highways, reducing the distance to 220 metres in areas having a population of up to 20,000. However, a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, had made it clear that its December 15, 2016 order banning such vends within 500 metres of highways shall remain operative for areas other than specified in the latest order.