Patna: A partial liquor ban has been brought into effect in Bihar from Friday following the state government issuing a notification in this regard.
“The state cabinet gave its nod to Excise and Prohibition department’s proposal to issue a notification for implementing prohibition in rural areas besides putting a blanket ban on country-made and spiced liquor,” a senior state government official, told news agency Press Trust of India (PTI).
“A notification has been issued for implementing prohibition in rural areas besides banning country-made liquor across the state,” Kunwar Jang Bahadur told PTI.
This means that the person indulging in manufacturing trade, transportation, sale and consumption of country-made and spiced liquor across the state will be punished for violating the stringent provisions of the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act, 2016.
As per the provisions of the Act, complete prohibition will be implemented in rural areas besides a complete ban on country-made spiced liquor across the state from today.
Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) will be sold in limited areas of the state i.e. municipal corporations and councils through the outlets of Bihar State Beverages Corporation Ltd (BSBCL). Excise and Prohibition department and other government agencies and district administration are taking up measures to implement partial liquor ban in the state.
In Patna, around 13.50 lakh bottles of country made liquor were destroyed at BSBCL godown in Khagaul with the help of earth-mover machine amid tight security in the presence of other senior officials led by Patna District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar Agarwal.
“We have destroyed 13.50 lakh bottles of country made liquor… worth Rs. 3 crore… Shops are being sealed by the magistrates appointed for the purpose,” Mr Agarwal told PTI.
From today, there will be a limited number of shops of foreign liquor and that too will be run by the state government undertaking BSBCL, the District Magistrate said.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, while replying to a debate in the Assembly, said on Wednesday, that IMFL would be sold only in urban areas through 655 CCTV fitted outlets run by BSBCL.
Vendors selling foreign liquor were found offering heavy discounts to exhaust their stocks before March 31 to escape the stringent provisions of the new law.
On Nitish Kumar’s appeal for ‘charity begins at home’, both the Houses adopted a resolution stating that they would not consume liquor and to discourage others from doing so.
Excise and Prohibition department has also issued toll free numbers of 15545 and 18003456288 on which people can dial for to inform about violations of liquor ban rules.
People can send their grievances and complaints regarding violations of new excise policy through ‘fax’ on 0612-2215843, email at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ and send their SMS on 7762990523. The identity of the complainants would not be revealed, official sources said.
Altogether 35 complaints were received today on number set up in round the clock control room established in police headquarters, a DGP control room release said. The prohibition police control room set up at police headquarters would be function round the clock in four shifts, it said.
It may be noted that the chief minister had said that the idea of enforcing ban came when some women had demanded a total prohibition on alcohol in the state during an official function on July 9 last year, to which “I promised them that I would enforce ban on liquor if I return to power.”
Mr Kumar said that he had announced on November 26 on the occasion of ‘Prohibition Day’ that his government would implement a complete ban on country-made liquor from April 1, 2016.