Belthangady: Recently the Supreme Court had ordered closure of all liquor shops on state and national highways with effect from April 1, 2017.
However, the liquor shop owners are finding new ways to sneak into residential and alcohol-free zones, if one goes by the reports emerging from Belthangady taluk.
It is gathered that the state excise department has granted permission to start four new liquor shops in Belthangady taluk. Wine shop from Mangaluru has moved to Seetha complex in Hosangadi area and efforts are on to shift another shop from Shirthady to Gundur in Venur.
Former deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada AB Ibrahim had not given permission to open liquor shops in Belthangady taluk in 2011 considering the area as “sensitive.” Belthangady taluk was declared alcohol-free zone from 1996-98. In addition, opening of deaddiction centres by Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari Dr. Veerendra Heggade had stalled the move of opening new liquor shops in the taluk.
According to Janajagruthi Vedike (forum) founder Vasanth Salian and member Vivek V Pais, the forum should be taken into confidence before the issuing of licenses by the area Tahsildar. In addition, the forum wants the administration to rein in gambling and betting activities during cock fights. Forum members have been fighting against the use of alcohol in the taluk and are against granting fresh licenses for liquor shops in the taluk.