Mangaluru, Sep 30, 2017: At least 167 liquor outlets on national highways in five districts coming under the Mangaluru Excise Division, which were closed down following Supreme Court orders, are yet to relocate to places away from the highway, said Excise Minister R.B. Thimmapur.
Speaking to media after reviewing the work of Mangaluru Excise Division, Minister Thimmapur said following the apex court’s order barring liquor shops outside the city the department has renewed licences of 1,260 outlets functioning in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Kodagu and Shivamogga districts.
There are 1,451 outlets in the five districts. Mr. Thimmapur said that licences of 167 outlets are yet to be renewed as the operators have so far not relocated to places away from the national highway. Of the 167, only 30 have applied for relocation while the remaining licence holders are yet to submit applications. On the opposition by local residents to relocation of liquor outlets in Belthangady and Mangaluru, Minister Thimmapur said that so far none of the complaints were brought to his notice.
The Minister said the department was firm on not having these outlets near schools, places of worship and on government land. When pointed that a liquor shop in a village in Belthangady was on a government land, Thimmapur said the order to relocate that shop will be cancelled shortly.
Thimmapur said the Supreme Court’s order closing down liquor outlets has affected earning of the State government this year. While the revenue collected since April has come down by 5% in the State, the shortfall was 4% in revenue from the five districts of Mangaluru Division.
As against annual target of Rs. 18,050 crore, the revenue collected since April from the five districts was Rs. 8,305 crore, which was 46% of the target revenue, the Minister said.
Minister Thimmapur said that he was reviving the working of the State and district-level committees of the department formed to act against sale of narcotic and psychotropic substances in schools and colleges.
Members of these committees were being trained by Narcotic Crime Bureau sleuths on identification of various narcotic drugs in the market.