KOZHIKODE: Excise Commissioner Rishiraj Singh said on Tuesday that the present liquor policy was practical and that there was no need to alter it. He told reporters here that it was up to the government or the minister concerned to comment on any change in the liquor policy. “There were 732 bars and out of that 704 were closed and currently we have 28. There are also 33 five-star hotels, 29 clubs and 300 outlets. These can serve the purpose. Complete restrictions would lead to hooch tragedies. We are not prepared for a tragedy like Kalluvathukkal now,” he said while reviewing his 100 days of assuming charge of the excise.
While the number of drug-related cases was 962 in 2014, it has risen to 1,560 in 2015. New proposals have been submitted to the government regarding the screening at the checkpoints in Manjeshwaram, Valayam, Muthanga, Aryankavu and Amaravila. “A `25-crore scanner has been proposed that can screen the suspected vehicle. Another suggestion is to start own offices instead of rented buildings in Wayanad, Kannur, Malappuram and Kottayam,” he said.
There was an acute shortage of staff, especially that of females, he said and he asked for at least 400 new employees, including 200 females, for awareness campaigns and other duties.
Online sale: He ruled out any chances of an online liquor sale in the state. “Liquor cannot be sold to a person less than 21 years of age. Cash for liquor should be paid through counter. And liquor should not be sold to people affected with leprosy,” he said....