Visakhapatnam: To put a check on the liquor flow during elections, the district Prohibition and Excise department is conducting joints raids in coordination with officials of other districts of the state as well as the neighbouring states.
According to district Prohibition and Excise department deputy commissioner T. Srinivasa Rao, the local excise sleuths of Tuni and Payakaraopeta have participated in the joint raids. With this, the supply of alcohol to the retail shops in the district has been reduced by 50 per cent.
Apart from border check posts, they have also set up five temporary check points to block illicit supply of liquor at all entry and exit points. These check points were set up at Chintapalli, Paderu, Araku, Payakaraopeta and Bheemili.
As elections will also be held in the neighbouring states, the Excise department held inter-state co-ordination meetings with the officials of Odisha and Chhattisgarh last month to control cross-border crime.
During the course of the meeting, it was decided to share intelligence inputs on the cross-border movement of liquor, conduct joint raids, establish check posts for effective route management and to have continuous coordination between the adjoining districts of other states.
Spurious liquor is another major challenge during elections. Keeping in view the intelligence inputs on spurious liquor in the district, the deputy commissioner formed teams to keep vigil all such places frequently and to track the movement of suspected persons.
In the past two weeks, the department booked 11 cases on liquor shops and bars in the district. It has suspended their licences for violations such as loose sale. Flying squads and task force have closed as many as 128 belt shops across the district.
As per the Excise policy, there are 402 notified liquor shops holding licences for two-year period and131 bars licenced for five-year period in district. Another seven licences have been granted to hybrid hyper malls.
“The supply of duty-paid liquor is being regulated strictly. Action will be taken against those who hold more than 50 per cent stocks over corresponding date’s stock or 30 per cent increase in sale over last month’s average day sale,” the deputy commissioner informed....