Excise team measures liquor vends’ distance from schools, find them in safe zone
The excise officials found the liquor vends to be located at a distance of more than 150 metres from schools and residential areasgurgaon Updated: Jul 18, 2017 22:49 IST
Excise department officials on Tuesday measured the distance of liquor vends from schools and residential area in DLF Phase 4, Sector 14, Bilaspur, Manesar and other residential areas. The move followed complaints about liquor vends operating near schools.
Although rsidents claimed that the distance between the liquor stores and housing societies and schools in these areas was less than 100 metres, the excise officials on Tuesday measured the distance at over 150 metres, thus putting them in the safe zone.
Parents said that with the liquor vends situated at such proximity to schools, they fear their wards getting addicted to alcohol at an early age.
“Students often read the signage put up at these liquor stores and ask why do people consume alcohol or get into scuffles in a drunken state. It gets very difficult for us to answer these questions and ensure that our children don’t get exposed to alcohol,” Archana Gupta, mother of a teenager and a resident of DLF Phase 4, said.
Residents further alleged that liquor vends are mushrooming in residential areas and many students are turning to the bottle after watching people drink in the open.
The state’s excise policy clearly stipulates that liquor vends cannot operate within 150 metres of a religious place or a recognised educational institute.
“Each of these areas has a market and liquor shops are located very close to residential areas. Students are often seen buying liquor from these shops, but the authorities aren’t concerned. Though store operators aren’t allowed to sell liquor to underage customers, children are often seen buying drinks from these vends,” Rajender Sharma , a resident of DLF Phase 4, said.
Members of residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) had requested for a measurement during a meeting with excise officials. The exercise finally took place on Tuesday and a report on the same was submitted to senior excise officials. The report clearly states that the distance of these liquor vends from housing societies and boundary walls of schools is more than 150 metres.
Anup Singh, a resident of Sukhrali and former area councillor said, “Residents and RWA members approached me and we held a meeting with the deputy excise and taxation commissioner, requesting him to get a measurement done as residents claimed that the liquor vends were too close to housing societies and schools. There are many places in the city for liquor stores to come up and the excise department need to allot sites in residential areas.”
“If these liquor vends aren’t relocated, we will hold protests. We have served an ultimatum on the excise department and have asked them to have these stores shifted by next Monday,” Singh said.
Excise officials said these stores comply with the policy currently in place.
“We have measured the distance and found these liquor stores to be in the safe zone. We will not relocate them as they are situated more than 150 metres from schools,” HC Dahiya,deputy excise and taxation commissioner, West, said.
On April 16, around 50 women had blocked Khandsa Road and had vandalised a liquor vend that they asked to be relocated. The incident took place after liquor vends, removed in the wake of the Supreme Court order banning the sale of liquor within 500 metres of state and national highways, were relocated in residential areas. The vend in question was later shifted outside the residential premises.