The excise department of Delhi has arrested 1,250 people over the past two-and-half months under charges of drinking liquor at public places in different parts of the city.
The action is a part of the special drive being undertaken by the Delhi government against violators of the Excise Act, according to which anyone caught drinking publicly has to pay a fine of Rs5,000 and anyone creating nuisance in public after drinking is also fined Rs10,000 and awarded imprisonment of six months.
“The excise department has arrested over 1,250 violators, till last week, for consuming liquor in public places. About a dozen special teams have been conducting the surprise checks and on an average 15-20 violators have been caught every day,” excise commissioner Sanjay Kumar said.
The department also impounded several cars in which violators were found to be consuming alcohol in public places.
Besides cracking down on violators, the directorate of information and publicity has also been running a special awareness campaign against drinking in public. The excise commissioner said the department is likely to intensify the campaign and more teams are being formed for the purpose.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had launched the campaign on November 7, saying consumption of alcohol in the open, particularly near liquor vends and in vehicles, was not merely a safety hazard but a major problem for the security of women.
The decision was taken after the government received complaints from several residents who complained of the nuisance, especially near neighbourhood liquor vends and popular eateries.
Intensifying the drive across the capital, Sisodia, who also heads the excise department, recently gave powers to sub-divisional magistrates and tehsildars to take action against violators. Apart from that, the department has also ordered all liquor shops to install CCTV cameras to keep a tab on people.