SHILLONG, March 03: Wine merchants of Meghalaya who have been reeling ever since the State Government amended its Excise Rules have been given partial relief as the state government relaxed some of the stipulations therein on Friday.
As per the new amendment to the said rules which were approved by the state cabinet which met on Friday, wine shops have now been permitted to operate at a distance of 50 metres from places of worship, educational institutions and hospitals with restrictions on timings.
The earlier amendment had debarred the setting up of wine shops within a distance of 200 meters from religious places, educational institutions, hospitals and 100 meters from the mid-point of highways.
In this regard, Chief Minister, Dr. Mukul Sangma said that wine shops which are located within a distance of 50 meters from places of worship, educational institutions and hospitals in the State capital will be allowed to remain open only from 4 PM to 8 PM.
He however said there will be no restriction on the timing for those which are located within distance of more than 100 meters from such places.
“The Cabinet has also observed that there should be a provision in the excise rules which would enable the government to notify any street or area as free zone from selling of alcohol and liquor,” Dr. Sangma said.
The Chief Minister further informed that now the liquor shops should also be 500 meters away from the edge of the National and State Highways following the recent Supreme Court ruling.
“Now all signage and advertisements of liquor shops along National Highways and State Highways should be prohibited and no shop should be visible or directly accessible from the Highways,” Dr. Sangma said.