With the restriction on serving liquor in some hotels and restaurants in Chandigarh, Mohali is becoming a favourite hangout for the booze lovers. Many eateries in Mohali have made arrangements for watching IPL matches in the open and allowing them to drink in the parking spaces without any fear of police and excise department. Phase V booth market is witnessing chaos every day as many people come to the eateries for having drinks. It is the same market where a woman was shot dead by her estranged lover in 2014. A taxi driver was also murdered last year near the same market when he was sleeping in his car.
Some shopkeepers who are working at the market are apprehensive that the way people drink in the open, instances of quarrels will increase and lead to criminal activities. It has become difficult for women to cross the market with many people drinking in the open. There are no security checks. The PCR vehicles come and go without any checking, alleged the owner of a department store located at the market.
An eatery owner who requested anonymity said that they had seen a rise in the number of their customers in the last 10 days. They wanted to win over them by installing LEDs so that they could watch the match as well.
“What is wrong in it? You go to any market in the city, you will find the same thing. I do not feel that it is wrong. If people start quarreling, we call the PCR. After all, it is business for us,” the owner said. A worker working at a chicken corner said that although they did not allow people to drink in the open, they served chicken or other eatables in the cars when their customers demanded. He said that there were instances when people start quarrelling after having drinks but they immediately called the police.
A private hospital and the offices of state cyber crime and state crime branch of Punjab Police are also located near by. The condition is no better at the markets of Phase 3B2, Sector 79, Phase 10 and Phase 9 where people usually drink in their cars. SSP Kuldeep Singh Chahal said that he would summon the area SHO and ask him the details. If anyone was found at fault, action would be taken.