VIJAYAWADA: As part of its bid to implement a phase-wise liquor prohibition, the state government has come up with a new strategy to curb illicitly distilled liquor and non-duty paid liquor, especially in districts adjoining Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Yanam to serve as a deterrent to bootleggers.
Officials will track government retail liquor outlets, which report low business as against the daily average sale of Rs 90,000 to Rs 1.20 lakh in each outlet. The government contends that wherever there is a low turnover it indicates that guzzlers are finding alternative sources of liquor, including ID liquor or NDPL. Once this is established, personnel from the state enforcement bureau and police carry out raids in areas where the sale of liquor is low. Once they establish supply of illicit liquor, the culprits are booked under Section 110 of CrPC and bind them over before the tahsildar for a bond of Rs one lakh with a written undertaking that they would stay from such illegal activities.
The state’s average daily turnover from sale of liquor is to the tune of Rs 70 crore. Many addicts, unable to afford the huge costs, go in for ID liquor or NDPL.
Districts having common border or close links with other states like Krishna with Nalgonda and Suryapet of Telangana; Kurnool and Anantapur with Karnataka; Nellore with Tamil Nadu; Srikakulam with Odisha and East Godavari with Badrachalam of Telangana and Yanam are vulnerable to smuggling in non-duty paid liquor. The state government is keeping a tab on them and has now resolved to resume awareness programmes across all regions.
Chief secretary Sameer Sharma has started holding a virtual review meeting with the top brass every Monday to arrive at means to put an end to this menace, which is also depriving the exchequer of revenue.
AP State Beverages Corporation Limited managing director D. Vasu Deva Reddy said “The state government has initiated stern measures to curb ID liquor and NDPL. It is on a drive to curb brewing of ID liquor.”...