Mass organisations, opposition set to launch stir against liquor shops

Mass organisations, opposition set to launch stir against liquor shops
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Highlights

Civil society organisations and women’s wings of opposition parties are gearing up to launch agitations in the state demanding the government to close belt shops and liquor shops which are functioning against the norms of the Supreme Court along the national and state highways in the state.

Vijayawada: Civil society organisations and women’s wings of opposition parties are gearing up to launch agitations in the state demanding the government to close belt shops and liquor shops which are functioning against the norms of the Supreme Court along the national and state highways in the state. Leaders of these organisations and political parties are strongly opposing the new liquor policy to be implemented from July 1 and continuation of liquor shops along the highways.

Highlights:

  • Civil society organisations, women wings of opposition parties to stage a dharna on June 29 in Vijayawada
  • A meeting of leaders accuse the state government to skirt closure of wine shops along national highways and state highways by tweaking their classification
  • They allege new liquor policy to come into force from July 1 will encourage more consumption of liquor in the state

More than 40,000 belt shops are said to be operating in the state. Besides, 4,770 liquor shops and 770 bars are functioning in the state doing brisk business worth crores of rupees every year. Lakhs of families are severely affected due to consumption of liquor. The revised liquor policy which will be implemented from next month will give further boost for setting up of more shops and bars in the state.

To check the supply and sale of more liquor in the state, civil society organisations and opposition parties are joining hands to launch agitation on June 29 in Vijayawada by staging a protest at Dharna Chowk. Leaders of various political parties and civil society organisations which are fighting against the liquor met at the CPI state office here on Sunday and chalked out an action plan for the state-wide agitation.

All India Democratic Women’s Association (Aidwa) state general secretary D Rama Devi, NFIW (National Federation of Indian Women ) state general secretary P Durga Bhavani, AP Mahila Congress president Sunkara Padmasri, YSRCP women’s wing leaders and representatives from Progress Organisation for Women (POW), Jana Chaitanya Vedika state president V Lakshman Reddy and others participated in the meeting.

These leaders will participate in the dharna to be staged on June 29 in Vijayawada. They decided to extend the agitation to mandal level to mount pressure on the state government for the closure of belt shops and shops setup against the norms prescribed by the Supreme Court.

As per the norms, liquor shops within 500 metres from the National highways and within 220 metres to state highways should be closed.Aidwa leader D Rama Devi alleged that the government was trying to change the names of the state highways as city highways in order to avoid the closure of liquor shops.

She said the government instead of closing liquor shops was trying to encourage liquor traders and giving licences to more shops and bars in the state.

P Durga Bhavani, AP general secretary, NFIW, blamed the TDP government was trying to get permission from the Centre to change the definition of national highways into city highways near the cities so that existing liquor shops can be continued.
V Lakshman Reddy, president of the Jana Chaitanya Vedika, Gunutr, said lakhs of families were suffering due to the belt shops and liquor shops in the state. He said many civil society organisations would join the agitation against the liquor.

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