Panvel civic body passes resolution to ban liquor sale

Mumbai: The BJP-ruled Panvel City Municipal Corporation (PCMC) in neighbouring Raigad district has passed a unanimous resolution banning sale of liquor in the civic limits.

The resolution, passed in the general body meeting of the civic body yesterday, will now be sent to the Maharashtra Urban Development department for a final approval. Established in 2016, the PCMC includes 29 revenue villages of Panvel taluka including Taloja, Kharghar, Kalamboli, Kamothe and Turbhe.

Among various nodes under the PCMC, Kharghar is known as an education hub near Navi Mumbai. Explaining the rationale, PCMC Mayor Kavita Chaoutmol said the prohibition will help maintaining order in the area. “Most municipalities across the country only think about it (banning liqour sale) but we have done that. We are glad as the resolution will help maintaining sanctity of the place,” Choutmol told PTI today.

PWP corporator Arvind Mhatre, who proposed the resolution, said the move will bring down the incidents of domestic violence. “It was necessary to bring in the resolution as it will reduce domestic violence against homemakers. Alcoholism is a social menace which we want to get rid of,” he said.

Leader of House in PCMC, Paresh Thakur (BJP) had raised a point of order demanding a ban on sale of liquor in July this year. The corporators cutting across party lines, including the BJP, the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP), the Congress, and the Shiv Sena, backed the resolution while rejecting the argument that closure of liquor vends will lead to loss of revenue.

Former Army officer S H Kalawat, a resident of Kharghar, has hailed the move. “We welcome the PCMC’s decision to ban sale of liquor. We are happy to know that corporators have kept their poll promise to ban sale of liquor. People can buy booze from outside and can drink in at their homes. Now, they won’t be able to buy alcohol from shops,” he said.

Local activist Ravi Srivastava said residents of Kharghar, which was a Gram Panchayat before it was inducted in the PCMC, had first made the demand for liquor ban nearly ten years ago. In the maiden polls held for the 78-member PCMC in May this year, the BJP won 51 seats and its nearest rival the PWP 23. The Congress and the NCP bagged two seats each.

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