Bengaluru: It’s good news for owners of around 250 bars and restaurants who had relocated to places beyond a radius of 500 metres from national highways as per the Supreme Court order, as the Karnataka excise department officials have issued an order asking them to relocate to the older destinations, within a span of one month.

It might be recalled that in the year 2017, the highest court in the country had asked all such bars and restaurants to shift to a location beyond 1 km, but based on the objections filed by states like Karnataka, it reduced this limitation to half a kilometre.

Though this news comes as a welcome move for these owners, it is learnt that a few of these owners whose businesses are doing well in the new locations may not revert to their earlier locations.

Statistically, as many as 1,667 bars and restaurants had relocated to other locations, honouring the Supreme Court’s orders.

Now, with the change of mind from the Supreme Court, these owners will heave a sigh of relief. But what prompted the top court to decree such?

Well, it was based on population that the court took a decision in favour of the owners. In village panchayats, taking into consideration the population of more than 5,000 people, the top court has permitted the relocation.

Many liquor businessmen are happy that there is a change in their fortunes for the better.

Ashok Sadhwani, a pioneer in the running of pub business (now retired) said, “It’s a very good move. At least now, these owners get a lot of relief. After having invested crores of rupees, their pubs and restaurants were dismantled. These owners would have procured legal licences. But to bring in new laws after getting licences is hitting them hard. I also wish the government relax several rules, because we can’t afford to lose our business. Also, several people, whose lives depend on the running of pubs and restaurants, will be affected.”