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Blanket Ban on Liquor Doesn't Work, Tourism-Reliant Uttarakhand Cannot Afford it: CM Rawat

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said blanket ban on alcohol indirectly promotes sale of unscrupulous liquor and also leads to revenue loss

Anupam Trivedi | News18

Updated:November 19, 2019, 4:23 PM IST
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Blanket Ban on Liquor Doesn't Work, Tourism-Reliant Uttarakhand Cannot Afford it: CM Rawat
File photo of Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.

Dehradun: Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has said being a tourism-oriented state, Uttarakhand cannot afford prohibitions on liquor, stating that a blanket ban has not worked even in those states that have implemented the same. Uttarakhand earns more than Rs 2,000 crore annually from the sale of alcohol, he added.

“We are very clear about liquor business. Ban on booze doesn’t work. It indirectly promotes sale of unscrupulous liquor and also leads to revenue loss,” the chief minister told News18 during an interview.

In two separate incidents this year, one in rural Haridwar and another in Dehradun city, more than 50 lives were lost due to consumption of illicit liquor. Besides, the coming up of a liquor bottling plant near Devprayag in Tehri district has created a lot of noise in the political circles.

Soon after, a few groups have started demanding a complete ban on liquor, a proposal that has been rejected by the government.

Rawat said, “A few (bottling plants) were okayed during the regime of the previous government. We are looking at the issue and will act accordingly”. He said the government has no intention of promoting the sale of the alcohol on a larger scale and hence, the excise department did not press for opening new vents.

Regarding the shifting of capital from Dehradun to Gairsain, the chief minister said it is not going to happen anytime soon, adding the decision cannot be taken “on plain emotions”.

On November 9, Uttarakhand completed 19 years of its formation and Dehradun continues to remain a temporary capital of the hill state. Several activists and regional political groups for long have been demanding a permanent capital in Gairsain nestled in Chamoli district.

“Huge infrastructure is needed to have a fully functional state capital and that involves a lot of money,” Rawat said, adding the government has already constructed an Assembly building and a couple of sessions has been held there as well. A huge lake is also coming up to meet future requirements of water.

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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