KOZHIKODE: The special drive of Excise Department to check flow of illicit liquor and drugs in connection with Onam festival is on with round the clock vigil, particularly in the border regions of Malabar.
The drive which was started on August 10 will continue even after Onam, though it was scheduled to wind up by September 15.
North Zone Joint Excise Commissioner V.J. Mathew told DC that with all officials from top to bottom a part of the drive, there is a decline in the inflow of spurious liquor from other states and also the hooch dens that once catered to local people with country made liquor have also vanished. The Onam season witnesses the highest consumption of liquor and toddy after Christmas, in the state, he said. "We have decided sacrifice our celebrations as all of us would be out with our field team during the festival days", Mr Mathew said.
The department has installed the latest wireless system, gave handsets to all officers and fitted mobile units with additional vehicles.
Special vigil is on at the check-posts at Nadukani in Malappuram bordering Tamil Nadu, Muthanga (Karnataka), Pattavayal and Thaloor (Tamil Nadu) and Tholppetti (Karantaka), in Wayanad district. Apart from those who are physically unfit due to some illness or other health issues, all officials were assigned the charge of various zones, he said. With mobile quality testing labs ready, the quality of the liquor and toddy supplied through the outlets can be tested in time.
Excise personnel had seized 30 kilograms of ganja, Rs 11 lakh unaccounted money, 888 grams of gold and large quantity of tobacco products and psychotropic drugs, Mr Mathew said.
Meanwhile, the Excise staff seized 600 litres of wash and 20 litres of arrack from a plantation at Beenachi, here, on Tuesday.
The excise team from Sulthan Bathery raided a few houses inside the plantation based on a tip-off. According to officials, excise staff got information about the secret hooch den and executed the flash raids. Earlier too 'wash' had been seized from the same locality. However excise personnel failed to take into custody any person in connection with the seizure.