Pune to party high on New Year’s eve: excise department issues one lakh liquor drinking permits
The permit is mandatory for buying, possessing, transporting and consuming liquor. However if one is found without a permit, it is as an offence under the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949.pune Updated: Dec 29, 2017 17:08 IST
The state excise department Pune division has issued over one lakh liquor drinking permits for new year celebrations this time. The permit is mandatory for buying, possessing, transporting and consuming liquor. However if one is found without a permit, it is as an offence under the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949. The liquor permit is issued by the department within five minutes of receiving the application.
This year, the government has allowed hotels and restaurants to remain operational till 5 am on new year.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, state excise superintendent Mohan Varde confirmed that over one lakh permits were issued till Thursday. The figure has been more than last year when around 90,000 permits were issued.
“All preparations are in place for the New Year celebrations with necessary instructions have been issued to all our units directing them to strictly implement the law during the festive season in accordance with the directives issued by the state government,” said Varde.
The law envisages that those applying for liquor permits must be aged 25 years and above and a person can apply for only one permit a day. Lifetime, yearly and day-to-day are the three categories of liquor permits given by the state excise department for Rs.1,000, Rs.100 and Rs.5 respectively.
The excise department officials said that their major focus would be on priority areas where the information technology (IT) industries are located. Besides, special attention would be given to areas like Vimannagar, Koregaon Park, Wagholi, Ahmednagar road, NIBM annexe , Mohammadwadi, Undri, Magarpatta, Hadapsar, Yerawada, Baner, Pashan and Lavale which are hot spots of parties and attract young crowds. Flying squads have been readied to keep a watch on the parties where teenagers are a quite likely to visit for New Year celebrations.
The officials said that according to the law mild beer can be allowed for youngsters in the age group of 21-25 years while 25 years and above is the age limit for hard drinks like liquor and alcohol. The district collectorate flying squads and Pune police commissionerate assigned special teams will also assist the state excise department officials on December 31.
Ganesh Shetty, president, Pune Restaurants and Hoteliers Association said that permission has been granted by the government where hotels and restaurants will remain operational till 5 am. “Residents must not take advantage of the relaxation and must ensure that they don’t drink and drive. Music must completely shut down at midnight as any violation of the music deadline will amount to contempt of court ,” he said.
Illicit alcohol seizure: Pune leads in the state with recovery worth Rs.24.50 cr in three years
The state excise department on Thursday arrested one person from Ghorpadi in connection with smuggling foreign liquor and seized liquor estimated to be worth Rs 3.57 lakh. With this the Pune division has recovered spurious liquor worth Rs.24.50 crore between 2015 and 2017.
According to State Excise officials, Pune has emerged as a front runner in terms of action against spurious liquor trade across the state. State excise superintendent Mohan Varde told Hindustan Times that the division was leading in the state in terms of action against spurious liquor and has bagged top position despite shortage of manpower.
The massive amount of liquor has been impounded during 8,000 raids conducted during the three years and more than 4,500 persons were arrested. Statistics released by the office superintendent state that liquor worth Rs.9.50 crore was confiscated in the financial year of 2015-2016, Rs.10 crore in 2016-17 while from April 2017 to November 2017, liquor estimated to be worth Rs.5 crore was seized. The seizure amount also includes the implements and vehicles seized during the raids.
Varde said that there were fourteen units under the jurisdiction of the Pune divisional office under which the cases were registered and action taken against illicit liquor trade. “Our flying squads played a key role in apprehending the suspects and busting the illicit liquor trade. The Pune division has been leading in the state in the government’s drive against spurious liquor trade in the division,” he said.