Andhra to allocate Rs 500 cr for anti-liquor programme

Amaravati, Aug 28 (IANS) The Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday said it will allocate Rs 500 crore for setting up of de-addiction centres and for implementation of prohibition.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy also directed officials to include lessons on ill-effects of liquor in school text books.

The officials claimed liquor consumption fell drastically after the government cracked the whip on illegal outlets as a first step towards imposition of total prohibition in the state.

The officials informed the Chief Minister during a review meeting that sale of liquor till July showed a decrease of 12 lakh cases compared to the previous year's figures.

During 2018-19, the state registered sale of 125 lakh cases of liquor.

Under the second phase to implement prohibition, the government will take over the liquor shops in a phased manner.

It would initially open 503 liquor shops as a pilot project from September 1, the officials said.

As per the route map towards total prohibition, the liquor outlets would be reduced from 4,380 to 3,500. On the whole, the shops will be reduced by 20 per cent.

The Chief Minister called for strengthening the enforcement and police departments. He asked officials to ensure that there is no smuggling of liquor.

He asked the officials to take strict measures to check the flow of illicit liquor. He said women police should be employed in Village Secretariats for effective implementation of prohibition.

The Chief Minister had promised total prohibition in the state during the election campaign.

After coming to power in May, he announced that prohibition will be implemented in a phased manner.

In June, he ordered a crackdown on 'belt shops'.

The state Assembly last month passed a bill to provide for the government to take over liquor business.

--IANS

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