Booze to flow twice over: Uttarakhand to keep liquor shops open 12 hours | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Booze to flow twice over: Uttarakhand to keep liquor shops open 12 hours

The decision, the government said, was taken in the wake of “demand” for extending the opening hours. Interestingly, last week Prime Minister Narendra Modi had noted while inaugurating an institution here via video-conferencing, that liquor is leading the youth into disaster.

dehradun Updated: Oct 11, 2017 21:35 IST
Anupam Trivedi
In April, the  cabinet had given the nod for two slots — 12PM to 6PM in the nine hill districts and 3PM to 9PM in the remaining four districts in Uttarakhand.
In April, the cabinet had given the nod for two slots — 12PM to 6PM in the nine hill districts and 3PM to 9PM in the remaining four districts in Uttarakhand. (HT Photo)

DEHRADUN: Barely six months after fixing six-hour operation time for the liquor shops, the Trivendra Singh Rawat government on Wednesday decided that the shops will remain open for 12 hours, from 10 am to 10 pm.

The decision, the government said, was taken in the wake of “demand” for extending the opening hours. Interestingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had noted last week while inaugurating an institution here via
video-conferencing, that liquor is leading the youth into disaster.

In April, the cabinet had given the nod for two slots — 12PM to 6PM in the nine hill districts and 3PM to 9PM in the remaining four districts of the state.

“The cabinet has decided to extend the opening hours of the liquor shops,” government spokesperson and minister Madan Kaushik said, sharing details on the cabinet meet. “The decision was taken after the repeated demand from the common people.”

The minister said the government’s primary interest was not “earning” from the liquor.

However, the fact remains that the government has set a target to the tune of Rs 2,300 crore from the liquor business. In the midst of the anti-liquor movement and cutting time of the shops, the TS Rawat government was fast losing revenue, sources say. Extending opening timings for the shops will translate in the good business, the government is hoping.

Meanwhile, Kamla Pant, a prominent anti-liquor campaigner, termed the state cabinet’s decision “against the people’s sentiments”.

The popular anti-liquor movement that gained momentum in the state was one reason why the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had reduced the operating timings for liquor shops in the first place.