After sundown, the Millennium City becomes a tipplers’ paradise. Hooligans and drunkards rule the roost, as main roads of the city — MG Road and National Highway — turn into an open bar.
Compared to Delhi, which has a liquor shop for every 1.9 lakh people, Gurgaon has one for every 6,450 residents. For a population of 18 lakhs, Gurgaon has about 618 liquor outlets. No wonder that drunken driving cases are on the rise in the city.
In 2010, the police had issued 7,462 challans (though not all of them for drunken driving), while, in 2011 (till September 30), the figure has almost reached 10,500.
According to police officials, accidents involving drunken driving have also increased. Till September 2011, 646 fatal accidents took place on the city roads. “In majority of these cases, motorists were driving under the influence of alcohol,” said a police official.
Many a time, drunken brawls in pubs spill over to roads creating chaos. Over-speeding, road rage and traffic violations continue unabated.
Although it is not legal to keep liquor vends open after 12 midnight, it is seldom observed. As Delhi enforces bar timings strictly, many tipplers drive down to Gurgaon, where one can buy liquor even after 2am.
Residents complain that certain shops in their neighbourhood are selling liquor, which encourage people to drink in the open. These people are then known to indulge in unlawful activities.
A drive down the MG Road in night will belie the police claim that the law is strictly enforced in the city, though the department faces a manpower shortage. “We try to enforce the law. But the responsibility lies more with the Excise Department,” said a senior police official.
“Liquor shops have mushroomed everywhere. The highways have become open bars. The government is encouraging it. There is a liquor store at our neighbourhood market where you can see people drinking in the open. Some youngsters do bike stunts after consuming liquor. This is dangerous not only for them but others too,” said Aman Singh, a resident of DLF City.
Although there are three declared dry days in Haryana, one can still manage to get it on such days from illegal operators. “We can get liquor very easily. We have come here for a party as the pubs remain open even after 2am also,” said Rohan Verma, a GK resident.