LUCKNOW: No liquor shops will be allowed around religious places, schools or populated areas, the Uttar Pradesh government said on Friday. "The Supreme Court has ordered removal of liquor shops from national highways and the government will ensure that the shops removed from there are not relocated to the vicinity of religious places, schools or populated areas," state minister Srikant Sharma said.
"Strict orders have been issued for compliance of the SC orders... Directives have been issued to the secretary, excise, and other officials to ensure that liquor shops do not open around such places," he said.
Directives have also been issued for initiating action in case any liquor shop is found violating the norms, Mr Sharma, who has been assigned to brief the media, said.
The Supreme Court has directed that no liquor shop shall be visible and directly accessible from the highways nor it should be situated within 500 metres of the outer edge of the national or state highway or of the service lane.
This order is also applicable to bars, pubs, which give rise to drunk driving and consequential fatalities.
"This government will not allow any violation of norms by anyone. If people have any grievance or they find that liquor shops are operating near religious places, schools or populated areas, they should immediately complain to the district magistrate and not take law in their hands," he said.
Mr Sharma said, unlike the previous dispensations, when complaints were left unattended, this government will address the problems at the earliest.