Madhya Pradesh excise department ‘dumps’ hundreds of litres of liquor in Narmada river
Narmada river, a major source of water in Madhya Pradesh, is considered holy and is worshipped as one of the seven sacred rivers in the country.Updated: Jul 30, 2018 07:18 IST
The Madhya Pradesh excise department allegedly dumped hundreds of liters of country liquor into the Narmada river in Dhar district on Friday, drawing protest from locals and Opposition leaders who have called for action against the officials responsible.
The river, a major source of water in Madhya Pradesh, is considered holy and is worshipped as one of the seven sacred rivers in the country.
Excise officials refuted claims that the liquor was dumped into the river, with videos of the act doing rounds on social media.
“The liquor masala (additive) had been dumped in pits on the side of the Narmada river. We are aware of the sanctity of the river and would never willingly make it impure,” Dhar assistant excise officer Sharad Chandra Nigam said.
Former Congress state spokesperson KK Mishra said that action should be taken against the excise officials who made the river “impure”, “Illegal countrymade liquor is being produced in large scale along the banks of Narmada and the BJP government is doing nothing about it,” he said.
The excise department’s reported measure to dump the liquor in the river comes even as the BJP government has adopted a policy of not allowing liquor shops within 5km of the river bank. Plantation drives have also been carried out along the banks to keep the river clean.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had taken out a six-month Narmada Seva Yatra that ended in May 2017 in a bid to rejuvenate and control the levels of pollution in the river. Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had also taken out a 3,300km Narmada Yatra on foot from October 2017, lasting six months.
Sources said the excise department had been receiving information that countrymade liquor was being produced illegally in villages along the banks of the Narmada river, following which the department carried out a series of raids in Manawar, Gandhwani, Kukshi and Dharampuri and seized country made liquor and 54 drums of country liquor ‘masala’ and dumped it into the Narmada.