Kolkata: Days before Rajasthan denotified state highways, West Bengal had already taken steps to prevent highway liquor ban in the state. The West Bengal government has declared around 275 km of state highways passing through various municipalities as ‘arterial roads’.
The notification posted on the state PWD website on March 16 came in between the Supreme Court order on highway liquor ban on December 15, 2016, and its reaffirmation by the apex court on March 31.
The state government has not given any specific reason for the denotification which covers stretches along all the 16 state highways.
The apex court order is expected to hit the state’s excise revenue to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore as around 1,700 liquor shops falling within 500 metres of both state and national highways had to stop vending liquor.
Regarding the national highways, the PWD sources said the state government was contemplating requesting the Centre to find ways on how to both implement the ban and to save the excise revenue loss and hundreds of jobs.