The Maharashtra government has decided to ban naming of liquor shops, beer bars and permit rooms after deities, historical figures and forts across the state. Officials from the state’s labour department said a notification in this regard would be issued soon by the excise department.
According to officials from the labour department, the issue was raised in March in the Legislative Council through a calling attention motion, demanding that a legal provision be made. Subsequently, a meeting was convened by Excise Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule to discuss the issue with excise and labour department officials. He then ordered to set up a committee under the chairmanship of the labour minister with members from the Legislative Council and officials from both the departments to take a decision on the issue.
Officials said a meeting of the committee was held last week. “The issue was discussed and a decision has been taken to ban naming the liquor-related shops and establishments after deities, historical figures and forts. We have made the provision in rules, which are being prepared by the labour department to keep the shops and establishment open for 24 hours,” Labour Minister Sambhaji Patil told The Indian Express.
Patil further said the excise department has also been asked to issue a notification making a provision in the Bombay Prohibition Act.
“Since the state excise department issues licences to the wine shops, beer bars and permit rooms, the excise department has also been asked to issue notification banning the use of names of deities, historical figures and forts to the liquor-related establishments,” added Patil.
Officials from the labour department said that currently there is no provision in the Shops and Establishment Act for banning names of deities, historical figures and forts to wine shops, beer bars and permit rooms. “Recently, the state government has cleared an amendment in shops and establishment Act that allows to keep the shops open 24/7. The work of preparing the rules for it is going on and we have inserted a provision in it to prohibit the use of names of deities, historical figures and forts to liquor-related shops,” said an official.
Amarshinh Pandit, a NCP legislator, who raised the issue in the Legislative Council, said it needs to be banned to stop attempts to disfigure history. “There are several wine shops, beer bars named after deities, historical figures such as Chhatrapati, Tulja Bhavani, Jai Ambe and others. In some cases, the names of historical forts have been given to wine shops. It is nothing but distorting history. While we celebrate anniversaries of these historical figures to take forward their legacy, we are giving their names to liquor-related shops. It is sending wrong message to the society and we need to stop it,” said Pandit.