Mizoram becomes a dry state after 4 years
Ending over four years of controlled sale of liquor, Mizoram turned into a dry state again on Tuesday with the coming into effect of a new law that bans the sale and consumption of alcohol in the northeastern state.
The present Mizo National Front (MNF) government, which came to power last year with prohibition as one of its main promises, passed the Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) Bill 2019 in the state assembly on March 20.
But the new legislation, which replaced the 4-year-old Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition and Control) Act, (MLPC) couldn’t be implemented immediately due to the model code of conduct in place for the Lok Sabha polls and legal issues.
“The model code of conduct as well as the high court granting time till May 27 to liquor sellers to dispose of existing stock led to a delay. The new legislation will come into effect from Tuesday,” Mizoram excise and narcotics minister K Beichhua said.
According to Mizoram excise and narcotics department, there has been an increase in alcohol-related death since 2015 when prohibition was lifted. From 9 deaths in 2015, it rose to 22 in 2016 and to 59 in 2017. The figures for 2018 were not available.
The state with a population of 1.1 million (2011 census) has 43 liquor shops, three bonded warehouses, two bars, and a microbrewery. The new move hasn’t impressed the opposition Congress, especially former chief minister Lal Thanhawla who was instrumental in introducing the regulated sale of liquor in the state in 2015. “We allowed the controlled sale of liquor as prohibition has never been successful anywhere in the world,” Lal Thanhawla said.