Providing a bombshell to alcoholics, Uttarakhand government announced reducing opining time of wine shops in the state. Soon the wine shops, which presently operate for 12 hours, will operate for six hours daily only- from 3 to 9 pm.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat said, “We are in the process of issuing instruction to limit operation of wine shop to six hours only. The women force will get some relief. We will launch awareness drive to keep the youths away from alcohol.”
Trivendra is not the first BJP Chief Minister who has made some amendment in opening time of the wine shops. Major General (Retd.) B.C Khanduri was the first, who asked the liquor shops to close by 9 pm. The earlier Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat came under heavy fire from drunkards, when the state government took distribution work of liquor and provided undue favours to a particular brand.
Excise is a major source of revenue for Uttarakhand government. It is estimated that the state earns over Rs 2,000 Crore annually through excise.
Considering the widespread protests against relocation of wine shops in Uttarakhandby women, the state government was forced to make this announcement. By reducing operation time of liquor shop and also by hinting of starting public awareness programme, Trivendra Rawat is making effort to defuse the crises.
Drunkards have always come under the attack of state government. Even the one hour cut, during the Khanduri government, hassled the consumer. The Harish Rawat government was harsh and made many popular brands disappear and a series of dubious brands make ways in Uttarakhand. In the coming days liquor shops will function for six hours only.