Keeping his election promise, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, has been taking measures to ban alcohol in the state. In a bid to introduce phase-wise liquor prohibition, the State Government announced on Saturday that the government-owned Andhra Pradesh State Beverages Corporation Limited (APSBCL) will take over the liquor shops from 1 October 2019.
Sharing the action plan, the Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister and Excise Minister, K Narayana Swamy, informed that apart from the 475 liquor shops which are already being operated by the APSBCL, liquor will be sold only through 3,500 designated outlets across the state. They will operate from 10 AM to 9 PM.
He further added that these shops which were rented through the tendering process will be run by the recently recruited 3,500 supervisors and 8,033 salesmen. Reportedly, the pricing mechanism of other states is being studied. In order to discourage alcohol consumption, permit rooms at the outlets will be removed. Consuming liquor at authorised government outlets will also be prohibited.
The Deputy CM said that the State Government shut down 43,000 belt shops which had illegally supplied alcohol. Besides closing down the belt shops, the Excise Department registered as many as 2,872 cases, and arrested 2,928 people, for the sale of illicit liquor. Reportedly, the government has set up 31 inter-state check posts, 18 patrolling parties, CCTV cameras and night watchmen to monitor the liquor sale. Furthermore, the government is also planning to establish deaddiction centres at every hospital to treat those who are addicted to alcohol.