Tribune News Service
Sangrur, January 24
As many as 58 panchayats in Punjab want liquor vends shut in their villages and have sent resolutions in this regard to the state Excise and Taxation Department. Section 40 of the Punjab Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, empowers a panchayat to pass a resolution to demand closure of liquor vends in its area on the condition that village should not have seen liquor seizure in the past two years.
“With 16 resolutions, Sangrur tops the chart as in the past, while Patiala with eight resolutions is second and Ropar third. The number of resolutions has been declining every year owing to the discouraging attitude of police and excise officials,” alleged Dr AS Mann, president of Scientific Awareness and Social Welfare Forum.
Figures procured (via RTI) by the NGO show that during 2017-18, a total of 86 panchayats passed resolutions and 21 vends were shut. In 2016-17, as many as 92 panchayats passed resolutions and 81 vends were shut.
Jaswinder Kaur, sarpanch of Nagla village, complained: “We passed a resolution, but officials say there are two FIRs against locals regarding liquor seizure. The fact is an FIR was registered against a resident of Khokhar village, while another pertains to recovery of liquor from Haryana.” Excise and Taxation Commissioner Vivek Partap Singh said everything would be done as per the law.
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