Acting under duress, the Ghaziabad Development Authority on Tuesday sealed a liquor shop operated next to Shanti Gopal Hospital in Ahinsa Khand II locality.
Speaking to City Spidey on what ground the sealing took place, RP Singh, executive engineer of GDA said, "The shop violated provision of UP Urban Planning & Development Act where it is mentioned that liquor shops cannot be operated in residential areas."
Meanwhile, the move has come after the excise department submitted a status report to the district magistrate (DM), Ghaziabad last week. The report contained an examination of two liquor shops in Ahinsa Khand II locality about which the residents of the area have been complaining for some time now.
While the findings of the report are not disclosed, Mubarak Ali, district excise officer had told City Spidey, "The department would check the legal aspect of the shops and whether they are being operated as per norms laid out by the government".
The liquor shop sealed is located at the ground floor of plot no 12 and 13, right next to Shanti Gopal Hospital while the other liquor store is situated next to a high-rise apartment, Divyansh Pratham.
The sealed shop had opened a few months ago. It had become a matter of controversy soon after it started functioning. However, after the death of a 26-year-old man who accidentally slipped into a drain in front of a liquor shop next to Divyansh Pratham, the sealed liquor shop and this one had come into a spotlight.
As the shop was opened in a residential area, Sahibabad MLA Sunil Sharma and Indirapuram-based Federation of Apartments Owners Association (FedAOA) had apprised the district administration and civic authority to take action against it on the ground of violation of a Supreme Court's order.
"According to the apex court guidelines, no liquor shop can be given a license in close proximity to a place of public resort, school, hospital, place of worship, factory or at the entrance of a market or residential colony," claimed Alok Kumar, president of FedAOA.
However, GDA did not seal the other liquor shop.
Speaking on the matter, a GDA official told that the land on which the other liquor shop is built is in a legal soup. "The land is originally an agricultural property and a petition was filed in the Allahabad High Court in 2005 by the farmers when the authority attempted to acquire that piece of land. The court in its proceedings ordered to maintain the status quo of the land," the official informed.
"Since the liquor shops were built prior to submission of the petition and the status quo has to be maintained, the authority is bound to not take any action against the liquor shop," the official explained.
However, Alok Kumar is of the view that the authority can still imply the law on that liquor shop. "The nature of its business was not mentioned in the petition. The authority can still enforce provision of UP Urban Planning & Development Act on the shop and shut down its operations in the public interest," he claimed.
City Spidey tried to contact RP Singh in this regard but he was not available to comment.