Chandigarh:With demonetisation leading to a temporary cash crunch five months ago, the second blow from the Supreme Court has thus turned the tables for families who are all set to host functions and marriages in the coming days. The big fat Indian wedding season has turned into a nightmare for both traders and families.
Indian marriages are known for the extravagant delicacies with cocktails but event planners too are now facing cancellation in their orders following the Supreme Court order of banning liquor in hotels, restaurants, clubs and bars along the state and national highways.
“I have received many calls from my clients to know whether liquor will be served at wedding functions at my marriage palace or not. People are helpless and are annoyed to hold ‘dry’ functions. The pace of business will also be affected as people will prefer other places now,’’ said Anil Chabbra, owner of AKM Resorts on the Zirakpur-Rajpura road on the national highway.
Around 30 marriage palaces and 35 big hotels have been debarred from serving liquor in Zirakpur which was one of the popular places in the tricity for people to hold functions.
The debarred places include AKM Resorts, Whispering Willows, The Grandeur, Sekhon Banquet, Westwood and Wedlock Manor on the Zirakpur highway. Also lavish hotels situated on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway and near the Zirakpur highway are also debarred. These include Ramada Plaza, Velvet Clarks Exotica, Regenta Almeida and Hotel Sapphire.
The Punjab Excise Department on Saturday said liquor would not be allowed at wedding functions and other occasions at marriage palaces and resorts falling within 500 metres of the state and national highways for want of clarity on “marriage palaces” in the apex court order.
“We will get clarity on the issue whether the order is applicable to marriage palaces. We are only assuming that liquor will not be allowed. But we want clarity before taking any decision on this,’’ told a senior officer of the Excise Department.
Owners of city hotels, bars, restaurants and marriage palaces said the decision would hit their business hard, besides causing a loss of jobs for those working in the hospitality industry.
Some marriage palace owners said they were getting calls for cancellation of bookings for the coming months.
Dharam Singh, a resident of Panchkula, has been frantically calling marriage palace managers to know whether liquor will be served at his son’s wedding. ‘’We had booked a marriage palace for wedding on April 17 at Zirakpur and have made advance payment. We have also paid the liquor licence fee. The court order has left us in the lurch,’’ he said.
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