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Where liquor is allowed to flow freely

In a misplaced enthusiasm to mop up easy funds, the Punjab government has given nod to big stores to sell liquor on counters as if 6,900 liquor vends in the state are not enough. Is it not social exploitation?

On one hand, drug trafficking is being viewed as a serious offence and, on the other, liquor is allowed to flow freely through legalised outlets. Does the government want the youth to be freed from the shackles of drugs or consider earning of revenue more important?

Cigarettes and bidis are sold freely though tobacco is injurious to health of the smokers and those around them. As it fetches revenue, the government is doing little to discourage the youth from smoking. Ironically, the sale of poppy husk and opium is banned, but these commodities are freely available. Liquor is supposed to be sold through specified vends but with the permission of corrupt officials. The government should look into the whole gamut of sale of poppy husk, opium, tobacco and allotment of vends to ensure their operation as per the laid down health and exercise policy.

Col KULDIP SINGH GREWAL (retd), Patiala



According to Article 47 (under Directive Principles) of the Constitution, “… and, in particular, the state shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medical purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health”. It is unfortunate that no heed is paid to the Directive Principles of our Constitution.

On the contrary, in Chandigarh, the City Beautiful, we are promoting the use of liquor. Earlier, there used to be only 60-odd liquor vends. However, now the number has increased to over 200, which is huge considering the city’s population. We should devise ways and means to discourage drinking by reducing the number of vends.

G.R. KALRA, Chandigarh


The mushrooming of liquor shops in Chandigarh where even religious places are not spared despite protests from the citizens and women is cause for concern. On one hand, the governments and NGOs are opening de-addiction centres. And on the other, liquor shops spring up defeating the purpose of such rehabilitation homes.

We may be imbibing the western culture where liquor dispenser units are common but people there are conscious of their drinking habit. In contrast, the liberal issuance of liquor permits in India not only provides easy alcohol to the drinkers but also invite those who get attracted by its easy access. Outlets allotted to liquor barons earn crores and fill the government’s coffers, but at what cost?

We talk of law and order, terrorism, increasing crime rate and social strife. Where are we heading? Is it legitimate for the government to earn revenue from such soft targets?


Social security

Nandlal Garg’s letter, “Strategy for social security” (March 27) is appreciable. He has felt the pain and agony of all those businessmen, traders or manufacturers who have otherwise suffered a financial loss but paid all the taxes when they earned. In Jagadhari town, famous for its metal industry, many mental units were closed and the owners had no option but to take up some private jobs.

I appeal to the government to comfort those suffering businessmen who have been rendered almost jobless and could not spare anything for their old age. While giving benefits to all other sections in the best possible manner, these citizens should also get least 20 per cent pension and free medical treatment of the total taxes paid by them to the government. At least from the age of 55.



This isn’t tourism

I would like to highlight the pitiful state of tourism in Kapurthala which the Punjab government is trying to develop as a major tourist destination. I would like to narrate an incident on April 4. A tourist, who travelled from France to Kapurthala, evinced interest to read some books on Kapurthala.

However, she was not allowed to enter the premises of Jagatjit Palace because the society controlling the Sainik School banned tourists. The school principal denied her entry on phone. The Deputy Commissioner could not be contacted. The tourist visited other buildings except the city’s main attraction as promoted by all tourist agencies of the state and nation and the tour operators.

Through my website on Kapurthala www.kapurthalaonline.com, I have been highlighting its culture for the last seven years. I closely followed various events while the administration tries to bring tourists to Kapurthala. Incidents such as this will surely put all the efforts and public money in waste.

There is no clear policy on the tourists’ entry into the premises. The district administration and controlling bodies should be more friendly towards the tourists and allow them to view the historical building. Kapurthala cannot be developed as a tourist destination by simply spending lakhs of rupees on heritage festivals.




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