Govt. submits that plans afoot to opening of175 new outlets
The Kerala High Court has observed that it wanted to ensure that the teetotallers are spared of the problems faced by them due to the functioning of the liquor shops near their residence or due to long queues in front of the shops.
Justice Devan Ramachandran while hearing a contempt of court case relating to shifting of a liquor observed that it was an open secret that every shop caused great vexation to children and women and the parents also feared that it would have a bad influence on the future generation. Therefore, the instances of extreme nuisances being caused in the neighbourhood of a liquor shop could not be lost sight of. It impeached on the Constitutional right of the citizen to live a life with dignity.
Meanwhile, S. Kannan, Senior Government Pleader appearing for the Excise Commissioner, submitted that the Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) had requested the Government to sanction 175 new liquor shops in the State and the Commissioner had recommended the Government to consider the proposal.
He also submitted that compared to the areas and population of the State with that of neighbouring States, the number of outlets in the State was less. The State had only 306 outlets.
As a result, large-scale rush and queues were witnessed during the peak hours in front of the liquor shops. In fact, there was one retail shop for 1,12,745 people while Tamil Nadu had one retail shop for every 12,705 people and in Karnataka one retail shop for every 7851 people.
Besides, the Bevco had walk-in facilities in 95 shops while 30 Consumerfed-operated shops had walk-in facilities.
Ranjith Thampan, Senior counsel for the Bevco, submitted that the only solution to the problem was to have walk-in counters with sufficient parking space. Unless all shops were converted into walk-in-ones, the situation might not get better.
The court also directed the Excise Commissioner to apprise the court of the further steps taken in the matter and posted the case on November 23.
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