Demand for lifting ban on liquor from Gadchiroli district is gaining ground, following rise in illegal trade there.
Dr Pramod Salve, General Secretary of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Doctorsâ€™ Cell has written a letter to the Chief Minister Udhav Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar, Gadchiroliâ€™s Guardian Minister Eknath Shinde demanding lifting of ban.
Talking to The Live Nagpur, Dr Salve said that he is not supporting consumption of liquor, but is against illegal trade. Imposing ban has resulted in small illegal dens coming up in almost every village of the district. Illegal transport from adjoining districts has also increased. The illegal transportation has resulted in fatal accidents. Women and children are involved by the traders for the purpose. Besides illegal trade deaths because of spurious liquor brewing has taken its toll.
Dr Salve has suggested that a review committee may be constituted. The committee can study illegal liquor trade, increasing crime, involvement of women and children, illegal brewing dens etc.
Unfortunately, the district has remained neglected for decades. The tribal-dominated population have not tasted fruits of development in other parts of the state and the nation. Liquor has been banned. But in the name of de-addiction counselling huge money is being spent in the district. This is an exercise in futility.
Wadettiwar had proposed lifting of the ban in Chandrapur and Gadchiroli. He succeeded in his mission in Chandrapur. A large number of people cross the boundaries of Gadchiroli district to buy and consume liquor from Chandrapur district. Driving after consuming liquor poses threat to lives of the consumers and also others moving on the roads.
Dr Salve has also demanded a review of the impact of liquor ban, de-addiction counselling, crime graph and illegal trade. He, however, has strongly advocated lifting of the ban. The rules to be followed after lifting the ban should be enforced strictly, he added.