City streets turn open-air bars; tipsy customers spill onto main roads sending traffic haywire
Two big speed breakers are the only indication of this being an upscale locality. But Road No. 10 Banjara Hills near the IAS Officers Quarters and Income Tax Colony is overrun by drunks and liquor shoppers. By evening, the road from KBR Park towards Singada Basti turns into an unpassable mess as it teems with people buying and consuming liquor on the spot.
A little distance away is another upscale locality of Filmnagar Colony. As the main road branches towards Apollo Hospital, traffic comes to a halt at the corner liquor shop where people from the surrounding areas buy and drink on the road.
“It has been more than a year since I complained about the liquor shop in Filmnagar area. It is at a corner where the foot over-bridge lands and children of the two schools use it to cross the road. They are forced to walk in front of the shop frequented by people in various states of inebriation,” says V. Ridhima, who lives in MLA Colony in the area.
“I have complained to police officials and shared videos with them about the situation. The police reach there, shoo away the people and clean up the area. But within 24 hours, it is back to square one,” adds Ms. Ridhima.
A search on an online map throws up 20 liquor shops in a radius of five kilometres of Somajiguda.
In a three-km road stretch between Rethi Bowli and Hyderguda, there are six liquor shops and three bar-and-restaurants turning the area into a no-walking zone for residents. One of the liquor shops has a small hired space which is screened off where liquor buyers rush in to drink and come out.
“This liquor shop is a real problem as people come in the wrong direction to buy here. The share autorickshaws going towards Aramghar also stop here. We find it difficult to man the signal and, at the same time, manage the traffic at this turning,” says a traffic constable at the Rethibowli Junction.
A 2016 Government Order of MA&UD for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation prohibits multiplexes, hospitals, function halls and schools from being located near road junctions.
But the GO says nothing about the location of liquor shops on road corners.
According to publicly available information, in 2017, the Telangana government handed out 2,216 permissions for liquor outlets across the State. Of those, 466 are in Hyderabad.
A large number of these liquor shops on the main roads have become a nightmare for vehicular traffic as well as pedestrians living in the neighbourhood.
The liquor shops don’t exist in isolation. A range of ancillary shops crop up around liquor that sell spicy grilled meat, boiled eggs and other finger foods.
The shops occupy additional space and the drunks spill over onto the road.
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