In what they say is an attempt to curb the drunken driving incidents, the state government is considering allowing door delivery of alcohol through e-commerce platforms.
For the record these services are already operational in cities like Bangalore.
A report from The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) states that 1.5 per cent out of the total of 4.64 lakh road accidents were caused due to drink driving or drug driving. Out of which a total of 2988 deaths and that are more than 8 deaths in a day.
According to a recent report, State Excise Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule has said that allowing home delivery of alcoholic drinks in the State will help curb the instances of drunken driving.
However, the government has still not made the policy clear and announced the date of implementation etc.
Another senior official said that, “Increasing the revenue was also a prime objective behind the decision.
Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s order, the government is losing sizeable excise revenue consequent to the closure of around 3,000 liquor outlets located near the highways. Also, the reduction in prices of petrol and diesel earlier this month has caused some strain on the state’s treasury, he added.
Pune365 spoke to activists and informed citizens who voiced their mixed reactions to this proposed permission for liquor home delivery services in the State.
Vinita Deshmukh, Senior Journalist, RTI columnist & activist said “It is a well known fact that the Maharashtra government has over the past few decades, encouraged the sale of alcohol and also put pressure on the relevant authorities to achieve targets, in order to boost the treasury coffers.
Giving it door -delivered is a clever (read as sick) ploy to further boost the sales and earn revenue for the state. It is indeed shameful that the government does not mind making money at the expense of the health of its citizens.
We all know how several families are destroyed through domestic violence and bankruptcy when its breadwinner is an alcoholic. In addition, the younger generation are getting addicted through the social drinking environment.
Door delivery is encouraging them to drown deeper in alcohol. In Pune, over five lakh students are staying in hostel accommodation or as paying guests away from their parents.
This decision is going to create havoc for the families and communities and must be strongly objected to.
Applauding the move Nikhil Kankare software professional says, People prefer being comfortable while drinking and nothing is more comfortable than your house.
The move would provide relief to busy working professionals. Not only this, but it will also help boost employment.
With this, a customer will also be assured about the quality and quantity of the liquor, he added.
Tejashree Mulik, Lawyer opines, “According to the Article 47 of The Constitution of India one of the Directive Principles which directs the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living, improve public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health.”
As of now, according to the Bombay high Court delivering liquor on call or online is a criminal offence and the individual is fined up to Rs 5000 and jailed for six months.
The initiative is certainly not the right way to curb the drinking and driving cases in India, The delivery of liquor is going to have many adverse effects and may lead to many other crimes including domestic violence and so on.
The government should promote the banning of liquor or limiting it instead of promoting it, Mulik added.
It will only be successful in increasing the liquor trade and the trade will grow exponentially says Hridya Parmar, Active Citizen.
Once people start getting it at home, am sure it will be available after the shop closing times also.
Speaking about curbing the drinking and driving cases Parmar says, It is not going to help much. A lot of people who go out for drinks travel in a group and there is one designated driver to drive back.
Just because it can be home delivered will not stop people from going out for a drink.
Liquor at the doorstep will benefit many below the permissible age as aadhar card details used for booking could be anyone’s, he added.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them
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