Govt keen to tap illegal colonies for liquor sales

Opening of booze outlets would require changes in Master Plan 2021

While the regularisation of about 1,000 unauthorised colonies in Delhi is still some time away, the Delhi excise department is already eying the huge liquor-consuming market there. 


According to sources, the department wants Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to make changes in Master Plan 2021 and provide for liquor shops in these colonies once they are regularised.  The department believes that the opening of liquor shops in the colonies will not only bring revenue to the government but also put an end to bootlegging and manufacture of spurious liquor that are reported from such colonies.


People won’t have to go looking for liquor shops if the proposal is implemented.  “It is a win-win situation for all. The government will get more revenue while people will be able to get liquor close to their houses in nearby markets. We had sent the proposal on this to Delhi’s urban development department and they have written in this regard to DDA, which has the authority to make changes in Delhi Master Plan 2021,” said an excise official.  According to the official, there is no provision of liquor shops or markets at unauthorised colonies in the original Master Plan and now that the regularisation of unauthorised colonies is on the anvil, it is important to make changes to provide for them.

At present, there are 532 liquor shops in the City and, according to the excise department, each of them caters to a population of  around 30,000. The department has pointed out that illicit liquor from neighbouring states like Haryana makes its way to these unauthorised colonies in collusion with the local police.  “Areas like  Najafgarh, Kapashera, Badarpur and Burari, which are close to Haryana are hotbeds of illicit liquor smuggling from neighbouring state. It is primarily supplied to unauthorised colonies and slums across the city where one third of Delhi's population lives.

 

All this can be stopped once the liquor shops are opened in their vicinity,” the official said. Meanwhile, reacting to the development, Delhi BJP state president Vijender Gupta said this is not surprising coming from a government which has always encouraged liquor consumption.  “The Congress government could not provide schools, roads or hospitals in these colonies in the last 14 years. However, they will be able to provide them the liquor shops. Our Constitution says that the state should work towards discouraging consumption of liquor but Sheila Dikshit thinks otherwise,” he said.

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