If a majority of people in your locality think that the neighbourhood liquor shop is a nuisance, you could initiate action to shut it down.
The state’s new de-addiction policy, which has upped the hard liquor drinking age limit from 21 to 25, has provisions that allow citizens to approach authorities with complaints against liquor shops.
Twenty-five per cent of a particular ward’s populance, or 25% of the total women voters from the ward can write to the collector demanding closure of a liquor shop in their locality. A secret ballot will be conducted within a month of receiving the complaint to ascertain if a majority want the shop shut. If 50% vote against the shop, it will be shut within three months.
The social justice department, which has formulated the policy, issued a government resolution detailing the provisions of the policy last week. The government directive makes it mandatory for all concerned government departments and the police to start implementing it right away. A law to the effect was amended in 2008.
As per one of the provisions, new liquor shops will not be given licenses to open within 50 metres of government offices, public dispensaries, religious places, gardens and educational institutes.
“The policy is difficult to implement, but so far we have not had a de-addiction policy for the state. We don't want to be moral police but given the consequences of alcohol addiction, the state has favoured prohibitory safeguards,” said Sachin Ahir, minister of state for social justice.