Kerala set to open 250 more bars soon across the state along national and state highways. Thanks to the July 11 apex court order allowing bars along national and state highways passing through cities, another 250 bars in Kerala are set to open soon, said an official on Friday.
The State Excise Department had already issued an order in this regard a few days back, which was made public on Friday. When the Pinarayi Vijayan government assumed office in May 2016, there were just 23 bars that functioned, that too only in five-star hotels, as the previous Oommen Chandy government through its new liquor policy in 2015 had shut down over 700 bars that operated in two, three and four-star hotels.
Chandy envisaged a liquor policy through which prohibition would have come in force in Kerala by 2023. The CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front had promised ahead of the 2016 assembly election that their policy would be framed around the idea of abstinence and not prohibition.
Keeping their word, a year after they assumed power, in July this year they announced a new liquor policy and as a result, on July 2 this year, 77 new bars opened. And on Friday came the new government order, with only 10 days to go for the harvest festival — Onam, according to which the 250 new bars have got the sanction to open. During the Onam season, the liquor consumption in the state peaks.