NGO upset as govt starts liquor shops hastily

The non governmental organisation (NGO) working with the state government on de-addiction program was highly upset after the liquor shops were hastily reopened on Monday.

Varsha Vidya Vilas, general secretary of the Nasha Bandi Mandal, said, with lockdown in place for the last 40 days, it had helped the addicted individuals to keep themselves away from intoxication. "We received several calls from across the state especially from families of addicted person that the money which was used to buy liquor was now used for buying food. However, now again by opening up the liquor shops government has proved its failure. It's sad that state is relying on excise revenue, while there are several other ways to generate revenue post lockdown."

Furthermore, in this critical time amid fear of coronavirus infection spread, these individuals standing outside the liquor shops are just not buying alcohol but they are also taking with themselves the suffering for their families. Besides this, the Police department is facing a lot of burden and with starting of liquor shops their work has doubled. The decision which was taken to generate revenue will eventually increase the cases of violence, family disputes in this extended lockdown period, said Varsha.

Moreover, she stated, the government should have taken this lockdown opportunity to implement liquor ban on the lines of Bihar and Gujarat state. "As such decision cannot be taken abruptly but in a step by step manner. Moreover, the state in 2011 issued a Government Resolution over prohibition of intoxication. Now it could have been implemented successfully," she asserted.

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