Excise asks officials to step up vigil to halt illegal liquor trade

Bhubaneswar/Cuttack: With a motive to step up vigil to halt illegal liquor trade ahead of the ensuing panchayat polls in Odisha, the Excise department has issued fresh guidelines to district officers asking them to conduct raids along with local police at different places across the State and arrest illegal liquor traders.

The Excise department personnel will intensify frisking of vehicles bordering with neighbour states and to stop illegal import of liquors. Besides, they would inspect liquor factories, check qualities and ensure strict implementation of timings for liquor sale, said the guidelines sent by the Excise department to the district collectors and Excise Commissioner.

Damodar Rout, Excise Minister, informed, “As few days left for the rural polls, we have directed the officials to conduct raids, arrest illegal liquor traders and throw them in jail.”

Meanwhile, an all-party meeting called by the State Election Commission (SEC) discussed about the rampant illegal trade in the State ahead of the rural polls.

Also read: Odisha orders ban on sale of liquor during Panchayat Polls

Raising doubts about the effectiveness of the Excise department’s fresh guidelines, Mohammed Moquim, PCC Treasurer, said, “The step is eyewash only. In campaigning of the political parties, liquor is getting the top priority.”

Expressing similar views, Golak Prasad Mohapatra, BJP spokesperson, said, “If fresh guidelines are being issued ahead of the polls, it is welcome step. However, the State government is not working according to the norms framed by self. Therefore, the decision is only a show off. History shows they (BJD) have not worked in any way to reach out people, which is why I believe the guidelines will not work.”

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