Hundreds of kilometres of national and state highways in states like Maharashtra, Himachal, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and others have turned into local, municipal or district roads, just a few days after a Supreme Court order banning liquor sale along highways.
Most states have not specified any reason for changing the categories and some have even denied that the step has been taken in view of the Supreme Court verdict.
Yet, most of the decisions have come in the wake of the March 31 order of the Apex Court, lending it the shape of a nation-wide trend.
Last week, the Maharashtra government okayed proposals from three municipal corporations to classify highways passing through their areas to city roads, while Himachal Pradesh re-notified 16 state highways as major district roads (MDR).
Maharashtra state PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil said that the government had received proposals from Jalgaon, Latur and Yavatmal municipal corporations seeking de-notification of the highways which were okayed.
The West Bengal government declared around 275 km of state highways passing through various municipalities as ‘arterial roads’.
The notification posted on the state PWD website on March 16, came in between the Supreme Court order on highway liquor ban on December 15, 2016, and its reaffirmation by the apex court on March 31.