Mysuru: Over 165 bars in Mysuru district had no option but to fall in line with the Supreme Court’s order on closure of pubs and bars along the State and National Highways with effect from last midnight.
They downed their shutters to comply with the July 1 deadline imposed by the Apex Court and are unsure when they would open next. They are all waiting for relief from the Supreme Court or the Centre. The SC has said that the ban extends to not just liquor vending shops, but bars and pubs too. In cities and large towns, these establishments cannot function if they are within 500 metres of a Highway.
In Mysuru, there are 46 bars and restaurants on the State Highways and 119 outlets on National Highways. In all, there are 495 bars and restaurants in the district and the licences of 330 outlets have been renewed on June 30 as they don’t come under the Supreme Court order. The licences of 165 bars have not been renewed.
Speaking to SOM this morning, Mysuru Excise Deputy Commissioner Jagdish Nayak said that bars having restaurant section can operate but their liquor section has to be closed. “Bars within the limits of Mysuru City Corporation have been exempted but those on Highways have been closed,” he said.
In Mysuru, there is a concentration of bars in Highways on H.D. Kote Road, T. Narasipur Road, Bengaluru Road, Hunsur Road, Bannur Road and Nanjangud Road. The places that have most of the bars and liquor vends are Kadakola, Chikkalli, Alanahalli, Meghalapura, Bandipalya, Siddalingapura, Gundlupet Road, Hinkal, Yelwal, Bilikere, Bogadi and surrounding areas. On the Gundlupet National Highway from Mysuru, till Gundlupet town, there are over 36 liquor joints.
The Supreme Court order has affected some of the popular liquor outlets in the city including the ones like Bopy’s, Monarch, Le Ruchi, The Roost and Grand Maurya on Hunsur Road. Excise Inspector Latha told SOM that on the Hunsur Road, bars starting from Grandpas Restaurant and further have been closed.
The popular Pelican Pub was open yesterday and the owners said that they are waiting for a clear directive. “As of now we are open and in case officials ask us not to serve beer, we will continue serving food and other beverages,” said Sachin Devaiah, Pelican’s proprietor.
Ramesh Bopaiah, proprietor of Bopy’s Bar and Restaurant near Aishwarya Petrol Bunk, behind Laxmi Granite, said that their liquor section closed since yesterday midnight following the Supreme Court ruling. “We have ‘CL 7’ licence and we have to comply with the order. Now only the SC or the Centre can come to our rescue. It is sad to see bar and restaurant employees who have literally come on streets and they need to think of their food, family commitments and loans now,” he said.
Same is with the case of The Roost Hotel on Hunsur Road. “We had no alternative but to close our liquor section since yesterday midnight. We are pinning hopes on the likely hearing on the issue by the Supreme Court this month. Hotel Associations and Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation are seeking a review of the ruling that has hit business hard,” said K. Dilip Biddappa, proprietor, The Roost.
CM CONTACTS GADKARI
Meanwhile, State officials tried their best in vain till the last-minute to get an exemption or an alternative to SC order yesterday. Chief Minister Siddharamaiah spoke to Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari. “The CM did remind Gadkari about the Cabinet’s proposal. Apparently, several other States too have made similar requests. Hence the Centre cannot just think in favour of one State, but has to come out with a uniform rule applicable to all States. The Centre has sought time until it explores an amicable solution, which may happen in a month or two,” sources said.