‘Early bird’ liquor vends to face action
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Irregular checks by excise dept blamed for easier access to alcohol for school students
The recent incident of four teenaged boys caught drunk in school and later suspended for their action, has brought to fore the harsh reality of easy access to liquor even by school-going children in the city.
Sample this: On the road opposite the ISBT, Sector 43, there are four liquor vends on a stretch measuring three kilometers.
To top it all, cocking-a-snook at the authorities, many of the liquor vends located specially in the periphery, open at least three to four hours in advance than the official timings to start the day.
It comes as no surprise that children are easily buying liquor without having to bother about the legal age of drinking, which is, 25 years.
With no officials bothering to keep a check on the vends, many of these flout the timings with impunity especially the ones located in the peripheral sectors opening as early as 7 am against the official timings of 10 am, thus almost promoting liquor.
The officials of the excise department after the recent shocking incident, also seems to be waking up from their deep slumber and finally decided to tighten the noose around the vends violating the excise rules.
Speaking with Chandigarh Newsline, UT Excise commissioner cum Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin said, " We are going to come down heavily on these vends which are violating the rules. To keep a check on the menace of underage drinking, we will conduct sting operations to nab the vends' salesmen red handed."
Interestingly, a visit to half a dozen vends in the city by the Chandigarh Newsline team revealed that 60 per cent of the salespersons were not even aware that the legal age of drinking in the city is 25.
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