Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Save people from liquor, Demands Lok Satta

The death of a few persons because of consuming adulterated toddy in Greater Hyderabad should prod the Excise Department to intensify the drive against adulteration of toddy, the Lok Satta Party said here today. It should simultaneously launch a drive to shut down illegal liquor shops and put an end to public drinking which are playing havoc with poor people.

Talking to the media, Lok Satta, Mahila Satta leaders Mrs.k. Geeta Murthy, Mrs. S. Manorama, Mrs. N. Saroja Devi said that the Excise Department seemed to have achieved some success in preventing toddy adulteration as was evident from the large number of people undergoing treatment in hospitals for withdrawal symptoms. The victims had been accustomed to consuming toddy adulterated with diazepam and other chemicals, which gave them an added kick. The Excise Department’s drive against toddy adulteration in some areas had deprived the addicts of the extra kick and made them behave strangely. The tragedy in Balanagar, however, underlined the menace posed by adulterated toddy.

The spokespersons recalled that the Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, representing the Kukatpally constituency in the Assembly, had written a letter to the Excise Commissioner early this month drawing his attention to uncertified liquor sales by unauthorized outlets, licensed shops running unauthorized sitting rooms, and shops serving liquor at the shop itself without a bar license.

Dr. JP pointed out that thousands of poor families have been devastated on account of unauthorized or belt shops and public drinking. He wanted the Commissioner to shut down all belt shops forthwith and ensure that no liquor is served at shops. He requested the Commissioner to ensure that all norms like distance from a place of worship or an educational institution are observed when liquor shop licenses are renewed.

Based on a field survey conducted by party volunteers, Dr. JP in his letter named the eight unauthorized liquor outlets functioning in Motinagar, five in Kukatpally, eight in Fathenagar, seven in KPHB and nine in Moosapet divisions.

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