The UP excise department has decided to strictly enforce the law that allows a person to carry only one unsealed bottle of liquor from other states. This comes after large quantities of smuggled liquor were seized in Ghaziabad and Noida over the last few months.
Smuggling of liquor from Delhi and Haryana into Uttar Pradesh is common as liquor is much cheaper in the neighbouring states, particularly Haryana. As per estimates, a bottle of country-made liquor costs an additional Rs 23 in UP as compared to Haryana. Similarly, a bottle of Indian made foreign liquor which costs around Rs 500 in UP costs only Rs 200 in Haryana.
The excise department seized many truckloads of liquor that were being smuggled into various parts of the state via Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad for distribution during the recently concluded panchayat elections.
“Sealed bottles are not allowed and anyone caught with even one sealed bottle will be booked under the Excise Act for smuggling liquor. I have directed the excise team to record all such seizures and issue bail on the spot,” said Kuldeep Yadav, district excise officer, Gautam Budh Nagar.
According to the excise department officials of Noida, the liquor vend at New Ashok Nagar in Delhi adjoining Sector 1 of Noida is causing around 30% revenue loss to Uttar Pradesh as Noida residents prefer to buy liquor from this shop.
The situation is no different in Ghaziabad. Liquor smuggling has become rampant in the past couple of months and Ghaziabad district has become a preferred gateway to smuggle in cheap liquor from Haryana.
Ghaziabad officials said the state administration has ordered for a day-to-day monitoring of liquor sales as well as liquor seized, in wake of smugglers denting their revenue targets.
“The maximum quantity of alcohol seized during October was in Ghaziabad. We seized alcohol worth `2 crore in a raid in November and another consignment worth `80 lakh in a December raid,” said DN Singh, assistant commissioner (excise), Ghaziabad.
The excise department in Ghaziabad has set up check points near Bhopra, the Apsara border and near the Anand Vihar-Ghaziabad border.
The department seized around 95,572 litres of smuggled liquor in 2013-14 and 1,42,701 litres in 2014-15.
The department seized nearly 43,066 litres of alcohol valued around Rs 2.55 crore in November and 28,253 litres worth Rs 1.37 crore in October. A total of 41 vehicles were also seized in the two months.