BHAWANIPATNA : With the Supreme Court deadline to shift IMFL shops and country liquor units located within 500 metres from the highways ending on Friday, several liquor units will be shifting to new locations from April 1. Most of the liquor units would be opening shops in residential areas which has led to resentment among the people.
As per Excise department report, in Kalahandi district, 11 out of 69 on shops and 15 out of 87 country liquor branch shops are located in the prohibited zone. Similarly, of the 34 licensed IMFL off shops, 21 are in the prohibited zone. Nine out of 15 IMFL on shops and all five hotels with lodging and IMFL on sale facilities will have to be closed or shifted.
Incidentally, four hotels-cum-lodging in Bhawanipatna and one in M Rampur having IMFL facilities are in the prohibited zone. After identification of such units, notice has been served on the owners of the units to shift to new places.
Meanwhile, people are raising objection to shifting the liquor units to residential areas citing law and order problem.
The Mahila Samiti members are protesting the location of the proposed foreign liquor off shop at Dhoba Pada of Bhawanipatna citing that the area is in close proximity to Bhawani Shankar Shiva temple and a primary school.
In Balipada under Narla police limits, the IMFL off shop owner started construction of new shop at a distance from the original spot near Kamegaon village. The relocation invited the ire of hundreds of women of Kamegaon, Kusmal, Patangpadar and Khairmal.
On Thursday, they ransacked the under construction unit and the old shop. Narla police station OIC rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control.
In another incident, a protest was staged in front of the foreign liquor shop at Chatikuda with the locals resolving not to allow relocation of the shop in their area.
In Belkhandi village of Kesinga block, women members of six SHGs took out a rally demanding relocation of the proposed new shop from Belkhandi. Belkhandi is an important Shaiva Pitha. On the other hand, four hotel-cum-lodgings have decided to stop liquor provision as shifting the facility would not be feasible and would lead to losses.