Despite being an arm of one of the largest revenue collecting establishments for the state government, the excise department of Thane district suffers from a serious staff crunch and lack of vehicles and other needed infrastructure for the past couple of years.
As per information, sourced out from the excise wing, out of the total 158 sanctioned posts (119 permanent and 39 temporary staffers), 41 positions-mostly from the class III have been lying vacant for several years. While one out of the two sanctioned posts of deputy superintendent lies vacant in the class II section, the class III picture paints a sorry picture.
Here 40 out of the 140 sanction posts including- six clerks, six sub inspectors, 9 assistant sub inspectors, 14 constables and two drivers- are lying vacant. Moreover 15 personnel mostly temporarily ones have failed to report at work.
Although 41 posts are yet to be filled, the excise wing needs at least 100 more personnel to cater to the current needs of the district in view of the growing population and rise in the number of liquor vending establishments. Apart from staff crunch, the excise wing grapples from shortage of vehicles.
There are a total of 12 divisions in the jurisdiction of the Thane excise wing. While 14 vehicles are needed, the wing has only seven. Apart from granting and regulating licenses for liquor related trade and operating mechanisms for collection of state excise duties on liquor and other levies, the excise wing led by a superintendent is tasked with an important responsibility of carrying out enforcement activities against illegal liquor and weed out illicit hooch menace. Notably, the process to recruit 300 eligible graduates as sub-inspectors in the state excise department had been completed in 2018.
While the excise wing has achieved 28 percent of its anticipated target revenue of Rs. 244 crore by netting Rs. 76.24 crore towards new permits, renewals, shifting, name transfers and other types of privilege fees in the first half of the current fiscal, a whopping 373 offences have been registered and 258 bootleggers and illicit hooch makers have been arrested in the past two months.