Ranchi: Nearly 700 liquors shops in Jharkhand have been shut in the last one week following a Supreme Court order to close those falling within 500 metres on either side of national or state highways.
"Nearly 700 shops have been ordered to close down. The operation was started on April 1. More than 150 shops have been sealed while hundreds have been issued notices," an Excise Department official told IANS on Monday.
The Supreme Court later clarified that in towns along the highways with a population of 20,000 or less, the distance will be 220 metres.
Many liquors shops in capital Ranchi too have closed, including those on the Albert Ekka roundabout, Ratu Road and other places.
In Jharkhand, sale of liquor by private contractors will end on July 31 since the government has decided to get into liquor sale from August 1 through the Jharkhand Beverage Corp Ltd in a bid to generate more revenue.
More than 800 meat shops too have been shut in Jharkhand after the government ordered the closure of all illegal slaughterhouses. In Ranchi, there are 57 licensed meat shops but not a single legal abattoir.
The Ranchi Municipal Corporation is constructing a slaughterhouse.
The Jharkhand government had given 72 hours to the illegal slaughterhouses to shut while sealing more than 300 illegal abattoirs and meat shops.
"The process to issue licences for meat shops should be eased. In Jharkhand, a majority of such shops sell goat meat only," said shop owner Khalid.