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Uttarakhand : Now, mobile wine shops in Haldwani as women block liquor stores

With women’s groups vehemently opposed to opening wine shops in residential areas, the Uttarakhand government has decided to allow licensees to sell liquor through vans or pickup vehicle in such areas.

india Updated: Jun 22, 2017 17:59 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Abhinav Madhwal
Hindustan Times, Haldwani
Mobile wine shops,Uttarakhand,Women's groups

For tipplers in Haldwani, mobile liquor vends have come as a huge relief after a relentless campaign by women across Uttarakhand against opening of any wine shop in residential areas.

Unable to open shops at many places where groups of women have been staging dharnas, the state government has decided to allow licensees to sell liquor through vans or pickup trucks in such areas.

The first such pickup truck selling Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) has started selling alcohol at the Ranibagh area in Haldwani which is attracting steady stream of buyers who were distraught at the closure of the liquor shops.

The government’s decision has upset women.

“It is unfortunate that the liquor is now being sold in mobile vans, which would promote alcoholism,” said Nina Bisht who has been part of the agitation against wine shops.

The government insists the decision was taken for the state’s financial health.

“The provision has been made for sale of liquor through vans or other vehicles so that the revenue is not affected,” additional chief secretary Ranveer Singh said.

Following the Supreme Court’s recent order removing liquor shops within 500 metres of national highways, the state government had asked the licensees shift their shops to other areas. But women’s groups insist that wine shops simply should not be opened in residential areas.

A total of 402 shops had to be shifted in the state. While most of them have been relocated, 15 liquor shops could not be opened due to opposition by women.

The pickup vehicle at the Ranibagh area was stationed at a particular place for selling liquor and did not move in the area.

There are 29 Indian Made Foreign Liquor, 31 country liquor and one beer shop in Nainital district out of which 7 country liquor shops could not be opened.

The excise inspector of Nainital Harish Joshi has been attached to the department’s headquarters in Dehradun for his alleged inability to ensure the opening of shops of the licensees and for being soft on the agitators. He has not taken up the new charge and gone on medical leave.

First Published: Jun 22, 2017 17:56 IST