Govt for liquor vends in banned areashttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/govt-for-liquor-vends-in-banned-areas/

Govt for liquor vends in banned areas

DDA is considering a proposal to allow opening of liquor stores in areas across where sale is banned.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is considering a proposal to allow opening of liquor stores in areas across the city where sale is currently prohibited.

Officials said they began reviewing sale rules on Delhi government’s request to lift the ban on liquor shops at shopping complexes and along mixed-land use and commercial stretches.

“The request is being evaluated under our review of Master Plan for Delhi 2021. Any change in rule will happen once the proposal obtains all clearances,” a senior DDA official said.

The Delhi Cabinet had approved the proposal to increase the number of liquor shops in the city earlier this year. But the government cannot go ahead until the Master Plan for Delhi approves the proposed sites for expansion.

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In its request this April to officials of the Urban Development ministry,which controls DDA,the Delhi government said the number of liquor shops in the city is among the lowest in the country.

The ratio of liquor shops per lakh of population is also one of the lowest,the government said,with the city averaging just three shops for every one lakh people.

“It is grossly inadequate,and as such the current situation is not conducive to availability of authorised liquor. The number is much less in comparison to other metropolitan cities,” Principal Secretary (Finance) DM Spolia said in the request letter to the Urban Development ministry.

The distribution of liquor shops is also skewed,according to the government,with three of Delhi’s 70 Assembly segments having just one shop,five having just two and as many as 10 sharing three shops.

The government has backed its proposition by citing a magisterial inquiry that probed a hooch tragedy in Mangolpuri in 2009 and blamed shortage of authorised liquor shops in the area.

“Deaths were caused due to consumption of illicit liquor…. the (Excise) department is finding it very difficult to expand the existing network of retail liquor vends due to lack of availability of approved commercial sites,” Spolia wrote in his letter.

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