Bacchus worshipers in the habit of enjoying delicacies while sitting in their air conditioned vehicles parked outside eating joints near residential areas seem headed for some tough times, as excise officials and police have decided to crack the whip on such offenders.
Waking up to the plaints of Ludhiana residents, city police and exise officials have conducted raids at around 10 eating joints supplying eatables to 'boozers' sitting in cars parked outside their eateries.
The team comprising excise inspector Navdeep Hadiwal and inspector Gagandeep Singh along with police officials raided around 10 eating joints at Sarabha Nagar Puli, Sarabha Nagar, Pakhowal Road, Ferozepur Road.
The team has warned the eating joint owners to stop the practice or else face the heat. The team also warned of strict action against those who would be caught drinking outside the eateries.
According to inspector Navdeep Hadiwal and inspector Gagandeep Singh they had received several complaints about the 'booze menace' from locals. Several families had come out with complaints that they found it hard to visit eateries because of such people.
It is pertinent to mention here that the menace of drinking inside cars, parked outside eateries has resulted in several road rage incidents as also accidents in the city.
The excise and taxation department earlier also had taken action against such offenders, but the city police was somehow reluctant. They just convened meetings of owners of eateries and requested them not to serve eatables in cars, but to no avail. Moreover, officials in the police department hardly had time to keep check on such eateries.
Those from Sarabha Nagar I-block going on evening walks were inconvenienced due to lack of space for movement in the area, as a newly opened eatery staff was busy serving eatables in cars. According to area residents, people coming in SUVs and other luxury vehicles parked their vehicles outside the eatery and used to drink in the open.
According to Rakesh Mago, president of the area welfare committee BK Shahi, general secretary Sukhdev Singh, joint secretary, Anil Bassi, Happy Sachdeva and Ramesh Batra had brought the matter several times to the notice of police commissioner Ishwar Singh. They said he had asked the ACP and the police station concerned to look into the matter.
"The owner of the eatery that serves eatables to the ones visiting his eating joint had agreed that he will not serve eatables outside his premises. But, after two days, the menace continued unabated," rued Ramesh Mago.
Around 6 alcometers lying out of order
The traffic police it seems is unable to keep a check on inebriated drivers, as around six alcometers of the traffic police have been lying out of order. Ludhiana has been witnessing the highest deaths in road accidents these days an in such a situation, it puts a question mark on the efficiency of the police department to control such menace.