A protest by the residents of Ahinsa Khand II led to closing down of the newly opened liquor shop in Niho Scottish Mall on Monday. A group of residents miffed with the opening of the liquor shop in the vicinity of more than a dozen housing societies approached the shop and demanded its staff to show the licence of running the business there. When the staff failed to show the license, the residents forced them to shut the shop immediately.
The residents believe that the presence of liquor shop will create anarchy in the area. "How can they be allowed to operate at a place that houses residential societies and coaching centers?" questioned Seema Pandey, one of the protesting resident.
The residents also said that in future, the shop will disturb the law and order of the area. "Like other liquor shops, this will also bring chaos in this area. People will park their cars and drink inside or even in the open. They can even harass women under the influence of alcohol," another protesting resident said.
The complex which is a commercial settlement of Niho Scottish Garden society is surrounded by housing societies with few coaching centers also. As per Supreme Court guidelines, no liquor shop can be given a license in close proximity of public resort, school, hospital, place of worship, factory or at the entrance of a market or residential colony.
On prima facie, the location of shop seems to violate all the guidelines set by the highest court.
CitySpidey reached the spot to talk to the shop owner but the shutter of the shop was down. Moreover, the staff who locked up the shop from inside refused to comment.
Commenting on the situation, Alok Kumar, president of federation of Apartments Owners Association, who challanged legality of another liquor shop that was opened next to a hospital in the same locality, said that the government should change its policy of issuing licence to such businesses. "Excise department must be instructed to differentiate strictly between a commercial entity for public and a commercial entity set for the convenience of residents of a housing society before issuing license of liquid sale. In this case, the complex was built for the convenience of the residents of Niho Scottish Garden and liquor shops can't run there," he said.
Meanwhile CitySpidey spoke to the excise inspector Mubarak Ali who issues licences to liquor shop regarding legality of its operation. Surprisingly, he was unaware whether the shop has the license to run its operation. "I'll get it checked and get back to you," Ali told.