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Poll effect: Tipplers of AP throng bars in Karnataka

Tipplers from Andhra Pradesh are thronging the bars and restaurants of Karnataka for two reasons ---- firstly, the price of liquor here is lower when compared to their state and secondly, they find liquor here more tastier than theirs.
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 20:28 IST
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 20:28 IST

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Chitradurga: The bars and restaurants, functioning in areas close to the Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh (AP) border in the district, are doing brisk business thanks to the Lok Sabha polls in both the states and assembly polls in the neighbouring state. 

Tipplers from Andhra Pradesh are thronging the bars and restaurants of Karnataka for two reasons ---- firstly, the price of liquor here is lower when compared to their state and secondly, they find liquor here more tastier than theirs. 

Deputy Commissioner of Excise Department Madesh admitted that the price of liquor in Karnataka is lower than that of the AP and the difference ranges from Rs 30 to 100 depending on brands. So, ‘liquor lovers’ of the neighbouring state come here. Around five years ago, liquor was prohibited in AP.

This prompted the people to throng the bars and restaurants functioning in Karnataka. Realising this, the people, who had been running liquor businesses in other parts of the district, relocated to the border areas. Twenty-six bars and restaurants are functioning here, he explained. 

He also noted that the AP government switched over from prohibition of liquor to restrictions three years ago. So, the number of liquor outlets is less and it is not easily available in small towns and villages.

Madesh said nine checkposts have been set up in the border area to prevent the transport of liquor between the two states. Of them, three are operated by staff of the excise department and the remaining six by police and staff of other departments, including the revenue department. 

He also pointed out that people have become smart nowadays and they carry liquor from Karnataka to the AP via interior routes where vehicles cannot move. “Preventing it is an uphill task. In the wake of elections, the people from Amarapura mandal of Madaksira taluk of Anantpur district visit bars and restaurants on the border of Dharmapura in Hiriyur taluk of Chitradurga district in the evening and return to their homes which are at a distance of less than 2 km,” he said.   

“We want to increase the sale of liquor and thus, contribute to revenue of the state government. So, the rise in the sale of liquor is good news for us.”

He also noted that liquor outlets have been set up even in AP now. But the price is slightly higher than in Karnataka. This is encouraging people of AP to come here for boozing, he added.   

Hanumantaraya, a native of Amarapur of AP, told DH, “We go to a bar in Karnataka in the evening and return home at night after boozing as the price is less. The number of people visiting bars in Karnataka is likely to double as the elections are around the corner. The number of liquor outlets in my town is less and we have to carry it from the shop. But here we can sit under trees at night and have a gala time.”

Narasimha Murthy of Khandenahalli, Hiriyur taluk, said the villagers of Madanakunte, Kasikunte, Thammadihalli, Valase and V Agrahara of Andhra Pradesh visit two bars and restaurants near Amarapura. They come here at 6 pm, take liquor bottles and drink sitting under trees in an open area, he said.

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Published 17 April 2024, 20:28 IST

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