Gurugram's DLF CyberHub complex and the five-star hotels located on the Delhi-Gurugram expressway may escape the liquor ban announced by the Supreme Court, according to which no shop, restaurant, bar or hotel can sell or serve alcohol within 500 metres of a national or state highway. To circumvent the ban, several establishments changed their entrance, increasing their motorable distance considerably.
Located near National Highway 8, DLF CyberHub changed its approach road and shifted its entry gates deeper into Cyber City last week, to increase the motorable distance from the highway to 1.8 km. Situated in the heart of Gurugrams corporate area and spread over 2 lakh square feet, Cyber Hub is home to around 34 bars and pubs, such as Beer Cafe, Social and Hard Rock Cafe.
Bar owners have said that the changes have already been approved by Gurugram authorities. "The business has gone down by 80 percent," National Restaurants Association of India president and CEO of the Impresario group, Riyaz Amlani said. "Yet, it is clearly safe now. The new entrance is as per the master plan."
Pushpendra Yadav, owner of Gurugram-based Quaff brewery, said that there has been no business in the last 10 days. He has closed Quaff since 6 April for renovations.
Officials from the excise department, the National Highways Authority of India, the Gurugram traffic police, and the Public Works Department measured the motorable distance using a radometer, a unicyle with a measure device, but did not reveal the exact readings they have got. The department is likely to release the final list of establishments affected by the ban on Thursday, 13 April.
"We have taken into account motorable distance as per instructions passed on to us," HC Dahiya, deputy excise and taxation commissioner, told the Times of India. "But we have also considered visible distance and alternate routes to the outlets to ensure there is no contempt of the Supreme Court order."
Besides CyberHub, the Ambience Mall has also shifted its entrance from the Leela Kempinski hotel side to a new road that goes through the residential complex, Ambience Lagoon.
Five-star hotels such as Trident and The Oberoi have also shifted their entry points from their earlier main entrance to their staff entrance. Sources in the excise department told the Hindustan Times that five-star hotels such as The Westin, The Oberoi, Crowne Plaza, The Leela, Country Inns and Suites and Trident, which are located along the Delhi-Gurugram expressway could also be exempt from the ban as their motorable distance was more than 500 metres.