Wine lovers, beer guzzlers and regular tipplers… raise a toast to this one. The state government has given permission to three, four and five-star hotels to serve alcohol even on dry days (no-alcohol days). A notification to this effect, which was issued on September 13, 2007, has been implemented recently.
As per the notification (No. BPA.1106/CR-31/EXC-2), there are eight dry days in the state — Republic Day, Martyr’s Day, Maharashtra Day, Ashadhi Ekadashi, Independence Day, Anant Chaturdashi, two days in prohibition week (on October 2 and 8), Kartiki Ekadashi. There are other dry days like the one during election time, which is declared by the collectors of respective districts.
“We were waiting for an official communication as we were unaware of the exemption for three-star and above category hotels. We kept our bar closed on all the dry days in 2008. This led to a loss of revenue for us,” said Amit Gupta, director food and beverage, The Park Hotel, Navi Mumbai. He further added: “We are still not in possession of the notification. We will contact excise officials in this regard. I don’t know if it is applicable to Navi Mumbai hotels.”
Vijayan Gangadharan, director food and beverage Hyatt Regency, said: “As we were not in possession of the notification, we kept our bar closed on Independence Day last year. Since we got a copy of the notification at a later stage, we will operate our bar in the coming dry days.”
Sunil Chavhan, excise superintendent (Mumbai suburban) said, “I am surprised to know that many hoteliers kept their bars closed on various dates declared as dry day. We have sent a notification to all the hoteliers as well as hotel associations to update them.”
“We will re-circulate copies of the notification to all the hotels if they have not received the same,” he added.