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Odisha government renames highways as urban roads to whip liquor shop ban

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Bhubaneswar: In a perceptible bid to avoid closure of liquors shops near roads in urban areas, the State Government renamed the state highways passing through cities and towns as ‘urban roads’.

The roads passing through the municipal corporations, municipalities, notified area councils and sub-divisional headquarters have been re-designated as ‘urban roads’, said an official today.

Besides these, the Works Department also classified all road sections falling within the limits block headquarters, tehsil headquarters as ‘urban roads’, said a government notification.

However, national highways passing through the urban areas were not covered in the notification. Following the Supreme Court ban to remove all liquor shops within a distance of 500 metres from either side of the national and state highways by March 31, several states, Maharastra and Rajasthan to name two, have notified state highways as city roads to facilitate sale of liquor.

The Excise Secretary Bishnu Sethi said the officials would examine the notification and take measures accordingly.

The Excise Department has sealed liquor outlets located within 500 metres from state and national highways in the state following order of the Supreme Court.

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