Even as union health ministry asked states to consider imposition of appropriate restrictions on 30 and 31 December Telangana government has given permission for liquor sales till midnight, beyond the stipulated time of 11 p.m. on New Year’s eve.

In other words there will be no restrictions on celebrations and revelry with bars, event managers and Tourism Development Corporations allowed to sell and serve liquor till late in the evening even as the pandemic rages on.

This comes at a time when neighbouring Karnataka has decided to impose section 144 on New Year’s eve to cut down on revelry due to Covid 19 pandemic. Hence, any public gathering of five or more people have been barred under the prohibitory orders.

The Telangana government’s decision seem to be prompted by revenue concerns, particularly after lock down had badly effected revenue collection as many agencies like the Hyderabad civic body teetering at the edge and failing to clear dues of contractors on time. Liquor sales is one of the popular revenue generating avenue for state governments.

In a government order dated 29 December the prohibition and excise department has granted permission to liquor shops to remain open till midnight on 31 December and permitted bars and event organisers who are license holders to serve liquor till 1 a.m. on the same night.

However, the permissions granted will be subject to observance of Covid -19 protocol. Meanwhile, all flyovers except the one at Begumpet will be closed to traffic to curb rash driving and police will keep a vigil on drunken driving.

In fact Cyberabad commissioner VC Sajjanar drew a parallel between drunk drivers and terrorists who kill anyone who appears in front of them while adding that they are booking drunk drivers under section 304 of IPC which amounts to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

The traditional Open House regularly held every year at Raj Bhavan on 1 January as part of New Year celebrations has been cancelled in view of the pandemic and instead governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan will accept the greetings through phonein.

Mission Build Andhra Pradesh case.

Andhra Pradesh High Court has ordered the registrar general to file contempt charges against IAS officer Praveen Kumar for filing a false affidavit in Mission Build Andhra Pradesh case.

The state government had filed an affidavit in the court requesting Justice Rakesh Kumar to recuse himself expressing concern that he might be biased and his continuance in the division bench could deprive it of a fair hearing.

The affidavit was filed by Mission of AP Special officer Praveen Prakash who also holds the post of Principal secretary in the chief minister’s office and considered to be the most power bureaucrat in the present government.