Sworn in on Sunday, the gram panchayat head of a clutch of villages in Western UP’s Mathura district presided over a session that passed an ambitious order banning liquor and cannabis consumption, laying down hefty fines for violators and rewards for those who blow the whistle on their fellow villagers.
The decision was taken by the pradhan of Sureer Kalan panchayat, which has five villages in its jurisdiction.
“We are beginning the experiment in Nagla Bari and if the response is satisfactory, it would be implemented in other villages of Sureer Kalan panchayat,” said Rajesh Kumar, the 40-year-old leader.
“It was decided to impose a penalty of Rs 1,100 on anyone found having liquor and a penalty of Rs 2,100 on those consuming drugs, including cannabis. There is a provision for awarding the informer who reveals about such practices. The informer would be awarded Rs 101 and those giving information about use of cannabis or other drugs would be paid Rs 501,” he said.
“Everyone, including youths and senior citizens, welcomed the move and we organised a panchayat on Monday in which about 250 villagers took part. We discussed the modalities for an effective ban on liquor and other intoxicants,” Kumar said.