Excise dept's 'census' to keep liquor vendors on tab

Excise dept's 'census' to keep liquor vendors on tab

Data to include photo of every staffer

Excise dept's 'census' to keep liquor vendors on tab

We have decided to keep  track of all those handling or serving liquor in licenced premises. A dossier on every liquor licensee is being compiled. We hope the move will deter those in the trade from entering illicit liquor business,” top excise department officials told Deccan Herald.

The State Government has issued 7,951 licences to set up wine shops and bars in the State and the Excise department hopes to complete the process of compiling data replete with a photograph of every staffer working in these premises.

Besides, the Excise department is also keeping track of 22,207 “accused persons”, who have been previously booked for violating the Karnataka Excise Act - 1965.

Beat system

The tracking process is being initiated through a “beat system”. As many as 1,934 routes crisscrossing the length and breadth of the State has been chalked out.

Excise inspectors will patrol these routes and keep track of those accused previously, former arrack vendors, IML vendors and licenced liquor shops. Registers have to be maintained along the route. “We are thinking of making these routes as administrative units by themselves,” the officials said.

Excise department officials point out that while illicit liquor industry in the State has come down drastically, there is still a long way to go before it is completely curbed.

As many as 1,966 illicit distillery (ID) centres have been identified across the State. These include 1,218 small IDs, 537 medium IDs and 211 large IDs.  “Though the term centre is used, illicit liquor is usually manufactured in the open. A ‘centre’ could be spread anywhere across a landscape covering a radius of 20 km,” officials explained. It is these ‘centres’ that the department plans to root out. The department in 2009-10 seized 80,304 litres of illicit liquor, the highest being in Belgaum (18,823 litres) followed by Bagalkot (13,505 litres) and Gadag (8,221 litres).

The department is also invoking section 50 of the Excise Act making it mandatory for all Gram Panchayat members to share information, if any, on the manufacture and sale of illicit liquor in their jurisdiction.