Your New Year’s celebrations could be ruined if you attend a party where drinks are being served without a valid permit as the state excise department, which issues such permits, is gearing up to raid parties and book errant organisers.
Apart from illegal parties that are usually held at resorts, in housing society premises and in clubs and farmhouses, the excise sleuths will also go after suppliers who sell spurious or smuggled liquor to the revellers.
“Our special squads are seizing spurious alcohol and stocks brought in without paying duty worth Rs25-30 lakh every day across the state,” state excise commissioner Dr Sanjay Mukherjee told HT.
Mukherjee said his department will not only focus more on enforcement ahead of the New Year celebrations, but it will also facilitate easier access to genuine and duty-paid alcohol. “To serve revellers better, we have extended the business hours of retail shops, permit rooms and clubs (see box). We know that people don’t stock up, but buy most of their alcohol on the day of the celebration.”
The commissioner said that the borders the state shares with Goa and Daman from where people bring in illicit liquor will be under a close watch. “My officers will come down heavily on offenders. In fact, we have been catching ‘smugglers’ every day.”
Mukherjee said that the drive against illicit breweries is a continuous process. “Illicit dens in Mumbai and Thane are on our radar and they are being raided. We will come out with details very soon.”