The Delhi government has decided to act tough against consumption of alcohol outside liquor vends and has threatened to cancel the licence of vends in case norms are violated.
According to the circular issued by the government, owners of liquor vends have been asked to keep the footage of the Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTVs) for 30 days that have been installed outside their shops to keep a check on open drinking.
Sources said that if owners are unable to produce CCTV footages, severe action — including cancellation of their licences — can be taken by the excise department.
Since 2011, it is mandatory to have CCTV cameras at the liquor vends to prevent people from drinking in and around such outlets and also keep a check on anti-social elements.
According to senior Delhi government officials, there has been an increase in complaints regarding incident of drinking out in the open, especially in vicinity of retail vends. “We have decided that after receiving any complaint we will check the footage of the CCTV and if it is proven that open drinking is being carried out we will cancel their licence,” said a senior Delhi government official. The circular was issued by the excise department on June 9.
Sources further said that a number of Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) had registered their complaints with the excise department as well as the chief minister’s office regarding the issue.
The excise department has also asked the licencees to arrange adequate ‘manpower, such as security guards and deploy them to desist people from drinking outside or near liquor vends’.
“Though CCTV cameras have been installed outside all the liquor vends but even now people often drink in and around the liquor shops, which is an offence. It is not unusual to witness ugly scenes around such liquor shops too. We have merely asked the license holders to monitor all such activities,” said a senior excise official.