Fed up of daily scenes of drunkards creating ruckus, three border villages in Pathankot have decided not to allow setting up of liquor vends in the area, around 35 kilometres from the district headquarters.
The panchayats of Khoj Ki Chakk, Muthi and Bhavani villages, situated on the India-Pakistan International Border, have submitted a resolution to the excise department to block allotment of liquor vends in their villages in the coming fiscal. The department earned a revenue of around ₹1 crore through allotment of liquor vends in the area in 2016 -17.
Women and elderly residents of these neighbouring villages are worried about increasing alcohol addiction among the youth, especially school-going children.
“Villagers, especially women, have been facing problems as youngsters under the influence of liquor create ruckus. This has driven us to seek a ban on liquor in our villages,” says Ramesh Kumar, sarpanch of Khoj Ki Chak village.
Even schoolchildren are turning habitual drinkers, and a ban on liquor vends in our villages will help them get rid of this bad habit, said the sarpanch.
Ramesh Kumar said following the Supreme Court guidelines, the villages were asked to submit their suggestions on allotment of liquor vends, “which gave us the right to reject the opening of outlets in our villages”.
Pathankot excise and taxation officer (ETO) Lovjinder Singh said the resolution submitted by the villages had been sent to the Punjab excise commissioner. He said further action depended on the decision of the higher authorities.