Nod to liquor shop shift cry

Balangir: The owner of a country liquor shop at Bubel under Puintala block agreed to shift the establishment from the village after residents, mostly women, launched a hunger strike in front of it to demand its relocation.

Local people have been agitating against the shop for the past one year. They, however, called off the strike on the same evening after senior excise officials had reached the spot and assured them of shifting the shop shortly.

Balangir excise superintendent Bimbadhara Seth assured the villagers of shifting the shop. "We have talked to the shop owner, and he has agreed to shift the shop to some other place. He has sought four months time to relocate the shop," Seth said.

Sources said the liquor shop was functioning at a key location of the village, where all important establishments, including the primary school, was situated.

The villagers said the functioning of the shop had an adverse effect on the schoolchildren, apart from creating family issues.

Bubel Mahila Mahasangha president Jayakumari Bag, who has been spearheading the fight to relocate the liquor shop, said: "We have been agitating for shifting the liquor shop for more than a year now. We have given in writing to the district administration and the excise officials about our concerns. One year has passed, but nothing happened. So, we were compelled to hit the streets again."

The then Balangir collector, Ashish Thakre, had ordered to submit a report by a joint committee consisting of Puintala police station inspector-in-charge, Puintala tehsildar and the Balangir deputy superintendent of excise on the issue.

Accordingly, the joint committee had submitted the report exactly a year ago in May 2017. But, no action has been taken to shift the shop.


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