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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Government run Kerala Beverages Corporation Ltd (BEVCO) is planning to open 175 new liquor outlets in the State to provide more facilities to consumers.

This was conveyed by the BEVCO in the high court on Tuesday during a hearing  in a contempt case involving the corporation. The BEVCO counsel  pointed out that there was one retail liquor shop for every 1,13,000 people in Kerala. There are 306 IMFL outlets in the state including 265 run by BEVCO and 36 by Consumerfed. The BEVCO said that the HC suggestion to convert liquor shops into walk-in liquor outlets, was under the corporation’s active consideration.  

 

“One thing that is non-negotiable is that because of the functioning of these shops, harassment and nuisance in the neighbourhood have increased by multiple folds” the Court observed.

“The intent of the Court is to ensure that ordinary citizens who do not drink are spared of nuisance caused by anti-social elements; not to create a 5-star facility for drinkers. My concern is that every complaint I receive is from someone who does not drink alleging harassment from people lining up in front of liquor stores,” said Justice Devan Ramachandran.

 

It was at this stage, the BEVCO counsel stated that contrary to the situation in other states, one liquor outlet in Kerala caters to the requirements of more than one lakh population. The ratio was considerably less in other states.

It was in this background that the state government was planning to open more outlets.

It may be recalled that the Bench had earlier suggested that every liquor shop be converted into a walk-in one, rather than dispensing it with the customers waiting on the footpath or public spaces causing inconvenience to the general public.

 

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