In our April newsletter we followed up on the progress being made by local Indian NGO and GRSP grantee, ArriveSAFE in their work advocating to remove illegal alcohol stalls along national highways in the Punjab. At the time we reported that the National Highway Authority of India had confirmed to the Court that the liquor stalls were indeed ‘illegal’, however an appeal by the Tax and Excise Departments allowed more time for reply… so the fight continued.
We can now proudly report that on July 30, 2013, the Bench headed by Honourable Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court passed an Order for the removal of liquor shops existing along highways. This is a major milestone in road safety for the region, a landmark legal precedent in India and an outstanding achievement for ArriveSAFE President Mr Harman Sidhu who, having filed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), faced strong and well-funded opposition, legal hurdles and delays, even threats to his person, during the campaign.
The area suffers alarmingly high rates of alcohol related road crashes, and with roadside alcohol stalls dotted along the highways, access to alcohol was a major contributor. This ruling will save lives and protect families. This is a story of passion and determination – it is an inspiration to us all. From GRSP and grant funder, Bloomberg Philanthropies, we congratulate Mr Sidhu and ArriveSAFE on this historic victory.