Soon, Delhiites won’t have to look too far for their daily tipple. The Delhi government wants more liquor shops in the Capital so that alcohol is easily available in most neighbourhoods.
The Delhi government’s excise department has written to the union ministry of urban development to amend the master plan of Delhi to allow more such shops to open.
The ministry has forwarded the request to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which is currently carrying out a review of the master plan of Delhi 2021.
The Delhi government has requested that it should be allowed to open liquor shops in commercial areas, notified roads for commercial use, mixed land use areas and even neighbourhood shopping centres, sources said.
At present, Delhi has 475 liquor shops, which means there is one liquor shop for 36,000 Delhiites.
A senior Delhi government official said that the excise department was not allowed to open liquor shops in unauthorised colonies, and one-third of Delhi was unauthorised.
"There are several areas where people have to travel four to five kilomteres to buy a bottle of liquor. To avoid travelling, many buy liquor from bootleggers," said the official. "We have requested the ministry of urban development to relax the rules so that more liquor shops can be opened," he said.
Though the Delhi Masterplan 2021 does not prohibit opening of liquor shops in local shopping centres, there is often resistance from local residents, he said. "We have also sought clarification from the MoUD in this regard," he said.
A senior DDA official said that the suggestion had been received from the ministry and it would go through the process of vetting that is going on for the review of the Master Plan.
All suggestions regarding the review would first be put before management expert groups and then it would go to the apex advisory body of DDA.
After approval from the authority, the reviewed MPD would be sent to the Urban Development Ministry for the process of amendment.
The present MPD 2021 was notified in 2007 with a provision for review in five years.