Village adopted by Harsimrat fails in getting liquor vend removed
Funds have been showering over Maan village adopted by the Union minister and Bathinda member of Parliament Harsimrat Kaur Badal under the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY). However, despite having the shelter of Badals' Bahu, the village has failed in becoming an ideal for many other villages in the region that are struggling and protesting to get liquor vends removed from their territories.
Maan village panchayat had passed a resolution to shift the liquor vend outside the village. However, this resolution fell on the deaf ears of the excise and taxation department. Seeing no action from the department, the villagers then approached Harsimrat during a function in the village in Mach.
However, no action has been taken on the villager's application to remove the vend and it is still running in the village against the wishes of the villagers and the panchayat.
It is not only Harsimrat's adopted village, but many other villages in its proximity have failed in getting the unwanted liquor vends removed despite struggle.
Kotli Sangar and Doda villages in Muktsar district are still struggling to get the liquor vends shifted. In Jumba village of Bathinda, agitated people damaged the liquor vend earlier this month and the police booked them for the act of vandalisation.
Similarly, villagers of Buraj Mehma in Bathinda have also raised their voice against the liquor vend in the village.
Not only in villages, people in some areas of the city have also been protesting against liquor vends. Residents of Bhagu Road and Paras Ram Nagar areas have been fighting against liquor vends in their respective areas. However, the department concerned has not taken any action in these villages so far.
"If a village adopted by the MP has not been successful in getting rid of the unwanted liquor vend in the village, then how can we hope that unadopted villages and localities will succeed in doing so," said an Akali leader from Maan village, who did not want to be named.
Obviously, the liquor lobby is so strong in the state that even Harsimrat Kaur failed in removing the liquor vend from the village adopted by her and wants to make it a model village.
"Yes, an application was received by the MP. The problem was that the panchyat was late in passing the resolution. Otherwise, the vend could have been removed. However, we are still working on it and probing if we can remove it now. We will talk to the excise and taxation officials," said Naval Kumar, district development and panchyat officer, who is also a nodal officer for the PMAGY.