The alternative livelihood programme designed by the government to make residents of Dhooplet stay away from continuing their hooch trade seems to have run into a rough weather with many banks refusing to give them loans for setting up self-employment units.

At least 60 per cent of the families in Dhoolpet, Mangalhat and its surroundings are still preparing hooch and supplying to their associates in twin cities for Rs.5 to Rs.7 per sachet. Despite conducting raids at ‘gudamba’ (hooch) manufacturing hideouts, bootleggers are continuing the trade unabated. They are selling hooch to buyers at Rajendranagar, Saroornagar, Malakpet, Charminar, Falaknuma, Chandrayangutta, Bandlaguda and Golconda, officials say.

The Government has announced a package to rehabilitate manufacturers of illicit liquor a few years ago. The district administration, in coordination with Prohibition and Excise department officials, has identified 1,574 such families. As per the package, each family would get a loan of Rs.1 lakh. A subsidy of 20 per cent would be given by both, Youth Services and Excise departments separately, while the rest had to be borne by the families.

With this financial assistance, just 187 out of 1,574 persons set up tent house shops, flour mills, kite making and idol making units. Some purchased auto rickshaw and auto trolleys. After the Youth Services Department failed to assist the Excise department owing to paucity of funds, the Government has directed the Excise wing to continue to rehabilitate manufacturers.

Orders were also issued two years ago to increase the loan amount from Rs.1lakh to Rs.2 lakh with 35 per cent subsidy from the Excise department and the rest would be borne by the families. After conducting a re-survey, the department has identified 630 persons for extending rehabilitation package. The banks, however, refused give loans of Rs.2 lakh for lack of collateral surety.

Bank rules stipulate that those availing loan should provide collateral surety for getting an amount of more than Rs.50,000. “We are unable to implement the rehabilitation scheme effectively as families are failing to give surety,” officials explained. The Excise department has arrested 3,103 persons and 3,917 cases booked against bootleggers between April 2011 and February 2012. Over 40,955 kgs of jaggery, the main ingredient for making hooch, was also seized.

**********Hooch trade status in city************

Year Cases booked Persons arrested Hooch seized Jaggery seized Vehicles seized
2011-12 up to Feb. 3,917 3,103 1.54 lakh litres 40,955 kgs 824
2010-11 3,777 2,805 1.78 lakh litres 23,825 kgs 948
2009-10 3,935 2,152 2.90 lakh litres 36,050 kgs 817

*Jaggery is the main ingredient for making hooch.

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