MP Govt to Ban Drinking Dens Next to Liquor Shops From Next Year
Officials said they had received several complaints of nuisance created by people standing on the roadside and drinking.
File photo of MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced that roadside bars linked to liquor vends will be banned in the state from April next year.
During his radio address ‘Dil Se’ on Sunday, he said that such drinking dens that operate next to wine and beer shops, popularly known has ahatas, would be closed down. Out of the total 3,600 liquor shops in the state, as many as 80% have bars next to them.
Government officials said they had received several complaints of nuisance created by people standing on the roadside and drinking.
Finance minister Jayant Malaiya on Monday said several complaints were received about inconvenience caused due to such shops, especially to women and kids passing from such areas. These outlets also created parking issues, said the minister. There were also complaints that police turned a blind eye to the chaos created by the drinkers.
The state government used to charge 2 per cent of the liquor contract amount for permitting these outlets.
Sources in the government said this could be the first step towards more restrictions on sale of alcohol in the state. The Chouhan government has been considering a total liquor ban over the past year, but has flip-flopped over the decision due to the huge revenue attached to it.
In the last financial year, the state exchequer pocketed around Rs 7,500 crore from the excise duty and liquor contracts.
Earlier this year, Chouhan had called for phased closure of liquor vends. Sources in the government claim that he was more than eager to announce prohibition ahead of next year’s assembly polls but after surveying the liquor ban models of Gujarat, Bihar and some other states, he decided otherwise owing to revenue constraints.
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