Kerala has witnessed a substantial fall in the sale of liquor following the Supreme Court directive which banned all liquor outlets near highways.

The Supreme Court had ordered a ban on all liquor outlets from within a 500 metre radius of national and state highways from April 1. After the judgement, 1,956 retial liquor outlets, beer and wine parlours, toddy shops and bars attached to five-star hotels in Kerala were closed down.

According to a study by Alcohol & Drug Information Centre (ADIC) India, liquor sales in the state declined by Rs 106 crore in April when compared to the same period last year. 

Kerala beverages corporation (Bevco) had seen liquor sales worth Rs 1078 crore in April 2016 but last month it was only around Rs 972 crore, marking a drop of 30.34 per cent. Beer sales went down by 53.52 per cent, wine sales by 43.52 per cent and IMFL sales by 7.99 per cent

Kerala had earned a revenue of Rs 9,800 crore from liquor sales last year. Finance minister Thomas Isaac had said that with the new SC directive, the state is looking at a revenue loss of around Rs 4,000 to 5,000 crore.

ADIC has urged the government not to be concerned about the monetary loss, and consider the drop in liquor sales as a positive impact.

Bevco currently has only 175 outlets operational in the state but has plans to open 100 more. The planned relocation of several retail outlets away from highways has been delayed due to the stiff opposition from local residents near the new outlets. Bevco has sought immediate action from the government regarding the issue.