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Maharashtra Transport minister Diwakar Raote today expressed his displeasure over the state government's move of denotifying some national and state highways following the liquor ban by Supreme Court. In a letter written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the minister said, "At several places in the state, like Dhule and Mumbai, the national and state highways have been handed over to the municipal corporations or Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
This might lead to a situation where the state government has to face contempt petition." He said the government should realise that the Supreme Court order was not related to banning alcohol, but to making the roads safer. "The local bodies do not even have enough money to pay to their employees. Handing over highways to them will lead to a deterioration of the condition of the roads and will lead to rise in road accidents," he said. "In my capacity as the person responsible for ensuring safety on roads in the state, I express my strong feelings towards the happenings," Raote said. The Supreme Court recently reiterated its order of a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol within a 500 metres distance of national and state highways. In the wake of the apex court order banning liquor sale within 500 meters of highways, at least three municipal corporations in Maharashtra passed resolutions seeking denotification of highways, so as to avoid the ban.
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