Maharashtra Cabinet Minister and Nagpur Guardian Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule today in a media briefing during the Maharashtra Legislature winter session 2016 announced that starting January 2017, Gram Rakshak Dals would be formed in villages across Maharashtra to fight illegal liquor.
Bawankule said, “In the house today, with respect to rules on ban of liquor, we have made some amendments. As per the amendments, in the rural areas of Maharashtra, production, selling and transport of liquor is illegal and strict action will be taken against people involved. Moreover, in the Gram Panchayat of a village, Gram Sabha and 25% of the women of the village will recommend the names of people to be part of the Gram Rakshak Dal. Then there will be meeting under the Tehsildar after which a 11-member Gram Rakshak Dal will be formed. The government will completely help and support the dal to fight illegal liquor.”
Laying down the reasons for forming such groups, he said, “There is no Gram Rakshak Dal in Maharashtra as of now. So people who fight against illegal liquor are threatened and at times, even the police cases are registered against them. There is no protection given to such people from the government. We have decided to give that protection. These dals will be soon formed in Chandrapur, Wardha and Gadchiroli district in January 2017. In the rural areas where the society is plagued by illegal liquor, Gram Rakshak Dal will fight against the business of illegal liquor across Maharashtra. We are currently laying down the framework (scope, right, duties, support from government, etc.,) but it is a very important decision which has been taken today.”
Speaking about another major decision, which was taken in the house regarding liquor policy, the minister added, “The government-run country liquor shops in the villages, which were established years back, are now surrounded with temples, schools, markets and residential colonies. That’s why we have decided that if the Gram Sabha and women of the villages recommend, we will shift such shops outside the village. Also, Maharashtra government has decided that instead of 12 bottles of country liquor, an individual will now get only two bottles in a month on his permit. Our research suggest that no one drinks 12 bottles of country liquor in a month!”
The minister also spoke about the recent Supreme Court decision about the ban on liquor shops on the state and national highways across the country. Banwankule said, “We are studying the Supreme Court’s decision and it will be implemented throughout Maharashtra. The government will abide by the decision completely.”
Video by: Suyash Sethiya
Edited by: Himanshu Pal
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