Residents up in arms against wine shop
Even as the state government is scheduled to unveil its new liquor policy on July 1, permissions allegedly accorded by the excise and prohibition department indiscriminately in violation of the guidelines trigger unrest in the city. The residents of LIC and NTR Colonies, posh localities on the route No.5 have launched a spirited fight against opening of a bar in their area.
Vijayawada: Even as the state government is scheduled to unveil its new liquor policy on July 1, permissions allegedly accorded by the excise and prohibition department indiscriminately in violation of the guidelines trigger unrest in the city. The residents of LIC and NTR Colonies, posh localities on the route No.5 have launched a spirited fight against opening of a bar in their area.
According to sources, the management of a bar presently located in the vicinity of Vinayaka theatre has planned to shift it to the LIC Colony. The proprietor of the bar identified a building and is making preparations to reopen the bar soon.
- Women and girls feel insecure to come out, say local people in unison
- The serene atmosphere in the locality will be spoiled , residents say
- Prohibition and excise inspector says no one approached for permission
Men and women alike from the localities staged a protest a few days ago, urging the authorities to take measures against the bar coming up in their area. They submitted a memorandum to the Collector, Superintendent of the Prohibition and Excise Department, City Police Commissioner and Vijayawada Municipal Commissioner in this regard.
The colony, developed by the LIC employees in the heart of the city long ago, is inhabited by in-service and retired government servants and considered to be a decent locality. K. Venkatanarayana, secretary of Hanuman Towers, apprehended that the bar, if allowed, will rob their colonies of decency and serenity which they are known for all these days.
Drunken brawls and nuisance which the bars will bring in anywhere will pose a security threat to girls and women of LIC and NTR Colonies, he worried. It is said tenants living close to the area where the bar is coming up began vacating their houses.
All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) city president K Sridevi criticised the prohibition and excise department for giving licences for bars and liquor outlets without taking into consideration the concerns of the local people.
The Supreme Court has directed that no liquor outlet shall be permitted within 500 metres away from the highways, this guideline apart, the other issues such as location of schools and residential areas should also be taken into consideration while giving permission for bars and liquor shops, Sridevi said.
The AIDWA leader said the alleged failure of the prohibition and excise department to keep in mind these concerns, people in several residential areas in the city have become restive, resorting to protests. The residents of Krishnalanka, RR Gardens, Durgapuram adjacent to BRTS Road were up in arms, resisting the bars and wine shops coming up in their localities.
Meanwhile, prohibition and excise department Circle Inspector Vasudva Rao when contacted told The Hans India that the fears expressed by the people of the NTR Colony and LIC Colony are baseless as no one approached his department seeking licence for either a liquor outlet or bar. He asserted that his department will scrupulously adhere to the guidelines while considering applications for bar and wine shop licences.
By Ch. Pradeep