Kerala decides to go for prohibition in phases, bars only in 5-star hotels

The state would have bars only in the five-star hotels.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published:August 21, 2014 6:03 pm
The state has also decided to reduce the outlets of the government-owned Bevco, the sole retail distributor of Indian made foreign liquor in Kerala. The state has decided to reduce the outlets of the government-owned Bevco, the sole retail distributor of Indian made foreign liquor in Kerala. (Picture for representational purpose)

The Congress-led United Democratic Front in Kerala, which met on Thursday to discuss the liquor policy of the government, decided to bring in prohibition in a phased manner.

Although the issue at stake was renewal of license of 418 liquor bars in Kerala, the unexpected demand for prohibition from within Congress, its allies and mounting pressure from social and religious outfits, forced the government to declare prohibition in a phased manner.

After the meeting, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media that there was no issue of reopening the 418 liquor bars. Besides, the state would have bars only in the five-star category from next fiscal onwards. The state has also decided to reduce the outlets of the government-owned Bevco, the sole retail distributor of Indian made foreign liquor in Kerala, by 10 per cent every year.

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  1. A
    Aug 22, 2014 at 5:29 am
    Here is the Irony :The irony is this decision was forced upon everyone by just one man - VM Sudheeran , the new KPCC president - and he is from a Hindu caste that has had quite a few liquor barons ! Sudheeran who has been "anti liquor" guy for long.No politician including his colleagues in Congress,rest of UDF guys and even opposition BJP guys, Communists and had the guts to be seen as supporters of the liquor lobby- because u will be kicked out by women voters who are 100% against alcohol! They all needed to save their own image!The church party ( Kerala Cong), and the muslim party ( Muslim League) - both who were earlier against closing down bars (because of pure commercial reasons) - overnight changed their stand and aligned themselves with the KPCC president's view of not allowing the reopening of any closed bar!Finally it became a race to get credit ! The CM Oommen Chandy won that race. He brought out the ace card from his pocket - closing down all BARs and total prohibition in 10 years - which was much more than what the activist KPCC president had pushed for!Final score of the political match within CongressSudheeran 1 : Ommen Chandy 1
    1. K
      Aug 22, 2014 at 6:01 am
      I am a tea totaller.But this move I can say is a farce.It will make the drunkard seek out spurious alcohol and spoil himself.Probably police will be happy for obvious reasons
      1. A
        Aug 21, 2014 at 4:52 pm
        Either fully ban alcohol like in Gujarat or completely liberalise the supply like in Mahe. This partial ban is not going to work.
        1. A
          Arun Murthy
          Aug 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm
          Can Malayalees really survive without booze? It is part of their diet!
          1. S
            Aug 21, 2014 at 12:43 pm
            In Kerala, even a small village has got high standard bars. It is interesting to see how the prohibition works in Kerala
            1. J
              Aug 21, 2014 at 3:22 pm
              Prohibition has never worked nor will it ever work. However, it is a easy money making machine for the powerful and an appetizer for the religious beliefs of some. Soon one will face an increase in deaths from consumption of illicit liquor from the bootleggers, and so called imported foreign bs.
              1. K
                K Narayana Pillai
                Aug 21, 2014 at 6:50 pm
                I suggest to open new liquor shop in every wards so that the money they loot from the people in the name of "nokku kuli" and the exorbitant wages are spent in liquor and beef. If they don't have enough money to buy beef and chicken, what the poultry owners and cattle owners from Tamil Nadu will do with their deceased cattle and chemical injected chickens? Prohibition will cause inflation in the market and the prices of other commodities will go high.
                1. M
                  Aug 21, 2014 at 5:26 pm
                  I think we are back to an era of w bootlegging, excise raids, and insutionalised corruption.This is also going make kerala less attractive to younger tourists, both from within India and abroad.A far better and civilised way should have been to increase awareness campaigns and stricter action against drunken driving and behaviour.
                  1. M
                    Aug 22, 2014 at 9:44 am
                    Moderate alcohol consumption is healthy, especially for older adults having risk factors for heart disease. Consuming bad quality liquor can inebriate a person faster and tilt his balance and can make him an addict. In 1996, then CM AK Antony banned arrack. But statistics show that money spent on the costlier India-made foreign liquor by Keralites has gone up by more than 18 times in the past 18 years. The pity is that the same low quality booze is bottled afresh with new golden labels. The same 2-star liquor is sold at Five star hotels at rates that are more than three times of a Two star bar. Attappady is the only region in Kerala where there is a complete ban on liquor, being imposed by the state government in April 1995. Since then, virtually every tribal settlement there has turned into an illicit liquor center. A lot of tribal children are malnourished because men are fully addicted by taking the BAD quality illicit liquor and woman has to do everything to bring up the family. What the government should do is to impose very strict quality check on liquor and more harsh punishments for selling adulterated drinks. Very good quality liquor should be made available every where. Remember that a high-caliber product does not make a person addict
                    1. F
                      Frank Churchill
                      Aug 21, 2014 at 5:41 pm
                      Indeed Janihind, history. :tinyurl/pvgufc9
                      1. R
                        Ram Lakshmanan
                        Aug 22, 2014 at 2:12 am
                        What a stupid, thoughtless decision! Congress and UDF seem to be incapable of learning from the past. This is a policy that is doomed to fail ... sooner or later.
                        1. C
                          Aug 21, 2014 at 2:52 pm
                          All over the world this is a failed policy. This benefits only bootleggers and probably some politicians and high ups not the citizens. It is better to implement laws strictly like punishing drunken drivers, misbehavior under the influence etc. Better mark 15/20% funds to educate the public about the bad effects of this usage then only we can achieve some good results. Jaihind
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