Navi Mumbai: Kharghar must follow Vahal’s way for ‘no liquor’ status

Navi Mumbai: Kharghar must follow Vahal’s way for ‘no liquor’ status

Kharghar gram panchayat maintained a no-liquor zone status by not issuing any no-objection certificates to liquor shops. And, this was an example for other villages then

Amit SrivastavaUpdated: Sunday, November 27, 2022, 12:17 PM IST
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Navi Mumbai: Kharghar must follow Vahal’s way for ‘no liquor’ status | Photo: Representative Image

In 2015-16, Vahal, Bamandongri, Jawali, and Morave followed the path of Kharghar and voted for a no-liquor zone. More than 70 percent of the women of these villages came out of their houses and voted against a proposal to grant a license to a bar in the Vahal area under Panvel taluka. During that period, the Kharghar gram panchayat maintained a no-liquor zone status by not issuing any no-objection certificates to liquor shops. And, this was an example for other villages then.

After six years, the Kharghar node is facing a similar situation. Recently, the state excise department issued a license to serve liquor at Nirsukh Restaurant and Bar in Sector 10 in Kharghar. The decision was opposed by most of the political parties, and they claimed that giving a license to one restaurant will give way to others to apply and get the same. Almost all political parties and a number of social organisations called a band on November 27 to register their protest against the decision.

Ravi Patil, president of Sai Sansthan, Vahal, who was the catalyst in creating awareness among citizens and motivating them to go for a referendum in four villages says that there is a need for awareness at the ground level in Kharghar to create a movement against liquor sales.

While these four villages Vahal, Bamandongri, Jawali and Morave are still gram panchayats, the Kharghar node has already come under a municipal corporation. “The functioning of a gram panchayat and a municipal corporation is a little different. However, nothing is impossible if there is dedication,” said Patil. He added that most women have one wish, that their children and family members abstain from consuming alcohol. “More than 70 percent of women from four villages opposed through a secret ballot to make four villages free from liquor sale,” said Patil, adding that a similar step in Kharghar can bring a positive result.

Gurunath Gaikar, the former Sarpanch of erstwhile Kharghar Gram Panchayat says that when he was sarpanch, there were pressures to issue a no-objection certificate for a liquor shop. “From relatives to known persons came with a proposal to allow a liquor shop in Kharghar. Sometimes, there were pressures, but we maintained Kharghar as a no-liquor zone,” said Gaikar. 

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