Two years ago in 2015, when the Kerala State Government decided to shut down close to 730 bars, there was an uproar from bar owners and workers saying their livelihood will be affected. Now when the State is on the brink of a total alcohol ban due to shops near highways being shut, the State is raising a hue and cry stating that its coffers will be affected. Either way, people who are addicted to alcohol will not only be facing a problem but might go to any lengths to satisfy their addiction. Also, numerous shop owners might lose their only source of income.
This decision by the Supreme Court is being met by heavy criticism. The Supreme Court is however justifying the act by stating various statistics related to accidents on the highway due to alcohol abuse. In 2014 alone, 7307 accident cases involving driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol resulting in 7398 injuries and 2591 deaths, were registered.
The National Road Safety Council (NRSC), an apex body for road safety, had recommended in 2004 itself that licences for liquor shops along highways should be retracted. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways [MoRTH] has been consistently advising State Governments to retract licenses of liquor shops near the highways.