Dismayed at finding your friendly neighbourhood bar has gone dry following the Supreme Court's ban on liquor establishments along highways? Spare a thought for Harman Sidhu, the man who filed the original petition which made its way to the apex court. For, having ensured the country's highways become dry, he now feels your pain. And is filled with remorse over the consequences of his own action.
According to a report in The Times of India, Sidhu himself is suffering — as much as anybody else who enjoys a drink or two. You see, most of the bars and restaurants in Sidhu's hometown of Chandigarh have gone dry.
"I, too, am feeling the pinch," he says. "I love to drink and I have to go that extra mile to fetch my stock. I can't accept that a large part of Chandigarh is going dry," he said, according to the report.
The Supreme Court had said that liquor vendors within 500 metres of national and state highways will have to shut down from 1 April.
The court has given some exemptions to Sikkim, Meghalaya and Himachal Pradesh. It also held that areas with a population up to 20,000 may have liquor vends at a distance of 220 metres from the highways.
But why is Sidhu so dismayed? After all, it was him who demanded the ban. Surely, he must have known what he was getting into? Sidhu says this was collateral damage — he never wanted to see establishments being shut, and he does not support prohibition either. All he wanted was to stop people from drinking and driving.
Huffington Post India reported that Sidhu places the blame squarely upon the authorities, explaining that there are many highways within Chandigarh because of a "goof-up" by the powers-that-be.
"Highways are supposed to be outside cities and to be used only for long drives," he said. "Now, everybody, including me, will have to suffer," he said.
Well, perhaps he can wash down the bad taste in his mouth with some fresh nimbu pani by the highway.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Apr 03, 2017 16:58 PM