Overweight employees won’t get cheap alcohol, says Coast Guard

The move is aimed at ensuring that personnel stay fit, an official said.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2018 21:49 IST
Rahul Singh
Rahul Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
liquor,Coast Guard,Porbandar
Gujarat is a dry state but defence personnel can buy subsidised liquor from Canteen Stores Department outlets.(HT/Picture for representation)

In a rare move, a regional district HQ of the Indian Coast Guard has passed orders to deny the issue of subsidised liquor to personnel who are “obese or overweight”.

The order, titled Stoppage of Liquor Issue to Obese/Overweight Personnel, applies to officers and sailors who are part of Headquarters No. 1, Coast Guard District, Porbandar, Gujarat.

This isn’t a pan-India ban and applies only to the regional district, said two officials familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified. The move is aimed at ensuring personnel stay fit, one of them said.

“As an interim measure to give a check, curb and minimise the obesity cases, it has been decided the liquor issue to obese/overweight personnel is to be stopped with immediate effect, as the consumption of liquor is known to be exaggerating the obese condition,” reads the order issued last week. Hindustan Times has a copy of the order. Gujarat is a dry state but defence personnel can buy subsidised liquor from Canteen Stores Department outlets.

The liquor ban on the unfit coast guard personnel will be lifted if they improve their fitness, says the August 30 order signed by IS Chauhan, deputy inspector general, commander, No. 1 Coast Guard District.

“The liquor issue will be started after improvement is shown by the personnel on case to case basis,” the order adds.

A coast guard officer posted in Porbandar said the order was a “temporary memorandum” and was being implemented. “The aim is to make sure people remain fit,” he said.

But some experts believe it’s not the right move.

“Fitness is important but I don’t think this is a good move,” said Lieutenant General BK Chopra (retd), a former director general of armed forces medical services.

“There are laid down norms for weight and fitness and if people do not meet these standards their medical categories are downgraded, affecting career progression. Instead of such bans, people should be encouraged to take to sports, physical training and yoga to stay fitter,” Chopra added.

Military personnel and veterans have a monthly liquor quota, depending on their rank.

First Published: Sep 08, 2018 07:24 IST