One may not find a school easily in the city, but one can easily notice a liquor vend, commonly known as a ‘theka’ or an ‘ahaata’, in every nook and corner of the city.
In the city, there are as many as 140 government schools against a total of 311 liquor vends as per ‘official record’. This means the number of liquor vends is more than double the number of schools.
While the number of liquor vends is increasing every year, the number of government schools has only decreased over the years. About five years ago, the number of government schools was 148.
Not only the number of government schools, but the strength of teachers and students also decreased. Schools are also reeling under the problems of poor infrastructure, dearth of teachers etc.
Not surprisingly, protests are being held against the rising number of liquor vends in the city. Social activists have been agitating against the opening of a liquor vend near the Shaheed Udham Singh statue at Lamma Pind Chowk. Activists are demanding the removal of the vend from the area where the statue of the freedom fighter stands.
Jaswir Singh Bagga, president of the Shaheed Bhagat Youth Club, who has been protesting against the opening of the vend close to the statue of freedom fighter Udham Singh, said that it was unfortunate that liquor vends are surpassing all other facilities in the city.
“Liquor vends near temples and schools are a common sight and the administration should do something in this regard at the earliest,” said Bagga.
“In the Lamma Pind area only, there are around 10 liquor vends and this is a matter of concern,” he added.
A resident of Lamma Pind Chowk said, “It is a serious issue that should be looked into, the number of schools should be increased, the presence of so many liquor vends is having negative impact on society.”