Drinking in open on the rise in SAS Nagar; admn clueless

  • Gagandeep Singh Gill, Hindustan Times, SAS Nagar
  • Updated: May 25, 2014 12:40 IST

Whether the authorities are aware of it or not, bacchu lovers appear to be having a free run in the city, often partying till the early hours of the morning — that too in the open in parking lots or in the bylanes.

Such scenes have become all too familiar in the markets of Phases 5, 6 and 7 and in Sectors 69, 70. Many eating joints make things easier for boozers to have a good time by providing makeshift seating arrangements and even snacks, although they know they are breaking the law.

A liquor store operating out of a tin-roofed shed in Phase 7 has lately become a hotspot for joy seekers.

Two other liquor “shops-cum-taverns” on the road dividing Sectors 69 and 70 are doing brisk business and hav even gone a step further by providing tipplers with chairs in the open.

These dens which virtually open ahatas (unauthorised drinking joints) have gone largely unchecked with the cops looking the other way.

This is despite the fact that these places have become a public nuisance with brawls often breaking out.

Speaking about the growing menace, Renuka Dhall, 32, a housewife, said, “Almost every day I come across inebriated men in parking lots at markets. They often pass lewd comments on women. Sometimes I’m too scared to go to market fearing I might be harassed.”

However, Gurpreet Singh (name changed), 36, who admits to regularly drinking with his buddies in the open, said, “It’s much more cheaper to buy a bottle of booze and then finish it off in public areas than going to a bar or restaurant.”

SSP GS Sandhu claimed he had so far not received any complaints about drinking in open areas. “Now that this practice has been brought to my notice we’ll definitely take appropriate steps under the law.”

Excise & taxation officer RS Gill added: “Those who drink alcohol in public places are liable to be fined or even jailed under section 61 of the Excise Act and the police are also empowered to enforce the relevant laws.”

City residents can now only wonder whether the authorities will wake up and take tough measures to check the growing menace.

Industrial area Phase 6
Phase 5
Phase 7 (front and back side of showrooms)
Sector 69 and 70
Phase 10
Phase 2 (just next to DC, SSP office)

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