GUWAHATI, April 1 - A day after the Supreme Court stayed the ban on wine shops and bars along National and State highways, the State�s Excise department today directed the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Excise to ensure strict compliance of the ruling.
�All wine shops within 500 metres from highways will remain closed from April 1, 2017. You are requested to take necessary action to ensure strict compliance of the SC order,� the Excise department said in the directive.
However, areas under urban local bodies where population is less than 20,000, the limit of 500 metres has been reduced to 220 metres.
The SC has also said no signboard of alcohol advertisements should be visible from highway.
There are 1,266 wine shops and of them, 598 are within 500 metres of either National or State Highway. Altogether 380 of the 769 bars in the State fall in this category.
Sources in the Excise department said most of the liquor shops and bars have applied for shifting to a location beyond 500 metre from the highway.
The Excise department has directed the officials concerned to expedite the shifting so that there is no loss of revenue.
In Kamrup metro, 47 wine shops and 15 bars which fall within 500 metres from the highway have been closed down, administration officials said.
In Guwahati and Kamrup area alone, there are 82 outlets - 63 wine shops and 18 bars � which fall within 500 metres from the highway.
The licenses of those shops which do not shift will not be renewed.