The Supreme Court order on banning liquor sale on highways, On Tuesday, the Punjab government de-notified stretches totaling 30 kms on seven state highways and made them a part of urban roads. Taking cue from Rajasthan, which denotified parts of state highways earlier during the day, Punjab too has denotified stretches that were earlier state highways but later became part of city roads.
The state has taken the plea that these roads were earlier part of state highways but over the years, these parts were rendered to be city roads after bypasses were constructed to de-congest traffic inside major cities.
The state government, in its orders on Tuesday, also mentioned that under the existing central government policy for national highways, certain bypass stretches are already excluded from the highways. The order listed five national highways on which the bypasses were excluded. It also said bypasses, under construction for five more national highways, would become functional in the current fiscal and these would stand de-notified soon after.
As per one of the government spokesperson denied it was a move to skirt the SC ban but was in line with centre’s policy. “Just that we should have done it earlier. But it is better late than never,” said an official.