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Suryakant Jena

The Odisha government on Tuesday clamped a prohibition on the supply and sale of liquor for five days from March 22 in view of elections to the urban local bodies.

The government in a notification following the instruction of the State Election Commission (SEC) has declared a 'dry day' for the aforesaid period.

The state excise commissioner in the letter to collectors of all districts has asked to ensure that no liquor is sold, given or distributed at hotels, eateries, shops or any other places within the polling region from 5 pm of March 22 to 26.

Apart from that, liquor shops, hotels, restaurants, clubs, and other establishments selling and serving liquor shall not be allowed to sell alcohol, the letter said.

The storage of liquor by individuals shall be curtailed during the "dry day" period.

The order also directed for steps to be taken to prohibit clandestine movement of liquor from the areas where the restrictions have not been in force.

The prohibition order was issued as the 109 urban local bodies, including three municipal corporations, will go for polls on March 24. Votes will be counted on March 26.

The government has directed the Excise/Police/Forest authorities to intensify joint raids to avert any liquor-related issue.

Odisha will go for elections to 109 urban local bodies, including three municipal corporations, on March 24. Counting of votes and results will be declared on March 26.

The elections will be held in 3,030 booths in 1,731 wards in 106 municipalities/NACs having over 27 lakh voters. The three municipal corporations have a total of 168 wards and 1,407 booths. 

Voters will decide the fate of as many as 6,411 candidates during the democratic exercise. 

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