Customers at a liquor outlet in Ranchi on Thursday.
Picture by Prashant Mitra
The next time you are in a liquor shop, a third eye will be watching you.
Liquor shop owners of Ranchi have started installing CCTV cameras in their outlets with the hope of reining in troublemakers and rowdies who often create nuisance.
The move, which was mooted and initiated last September, has already seen more than half of the 115 liquor shops across the district setting up the surveillance cameras so far. The others are expected to follow suit soon.
“Majority of the liquor outlets in the city have close circuit cameras now. This is to prevent rogue elements from creating trouble. Many people often refuse to pay for their purchases and simply walk away with the bottles. The cameras will help us track them,” said Anup Chawla, a Ranchi liquor store owner.
He added that it was a win-win situation for the customers too, cause the CCTVs would also help them keep track on rogue salesmen, who often resorted to abusing or overcharging.
Each liquor shop, he said, will be fitted with two cameras with one keeping track of consumers and the other focussing on the activities of the salesperson manning the counters.
“The instances of people walking in and trotting away with bottles without payment have become common. When confronted, these rogue elements create problem and sometimes even threaten our men,” Chawla said.
Apart from this, in January this year, the city also witnessed seven cases of theft at liquor shops situated on Main Road, Singh More and Chutia.
The CCTV footage would help give the police leads, helping them nab the culprits if there was a reccurence of such crimes, Chawla said.
Arun Chawla, another liquor shop owner of the city, said he put up the surveillance cameras after receiving complaints from customers.
“Customers often complain that the salesmen are not behaving well. They either fleece or misbehave with them,” he said. Some of them also he claimed, lied about having to pay levy and pocketed the extra money.
The customers too are all cheers for the new move.
“The idea is good. The CCTV will help bring a sense of discipline. Sometimes the salesman at the counter is drunk and overcharge us. That will stop if surveillance cameras are put up in the shops,” a customer said.