Methanol tragedy, which killed 19 people during 2012 New Year Celebrations, haunts villagers
Fear grips the tribal hamlets with the New Year Celebrations fast approaching, as methanol tragedy had claimed 19 lives in the thandas (tribal villages) near Mylavaram, in Krishna district on December 31, 2011.
There is no check on sale of methanol in Vijayawada, even after 19 deaths though it was sourced from the city for the illicit liquor. A few women were also killed in the incident and several were hospitalised, but there is no check on the sale. The methyl alcohol, which has pungent smell, was being sold in medical shops without any prescription.
The victims had consumed the arrack laced with methanol in Kanimerla Thanda, Poratanagar, Yedurubedem and Naguluru Thandas under Mylavaram police station limits during the New Year celebrations last year.
Police registered 12 cases against those who prepared the methanol-laced liquor and sold it in villages. They arrested 12 persons and the case is under trial.
Speaking to The Hindu Krishna District Excise Deputy Commissioner B. Mohanlal said that the Excise police had registered 2,581 cases in 2012 for brewing liquor illicitly. Police also booked a habitual liquor manufacturer and seller under PD Act in Vissannapeta.
During special drive, the excise police conducted raids in villages and arrested 1,204 persons involved in ID liquor trade. Instructions were given to the Station House Officers to enlighten the villagers on the ill effects of consuming methanol-laced liquor.
The excise police identified about 26 ‘A’ Category villages in which illicit distillation and sale of liquor was rampant. Similarly, 57 ‘B’ Category thandas were identified where the illegal trade was flourishing freely, said the Deputy Commissioner.
The special teams conducted raids on the villages in Jaggaiahpet, Vatsavai, Musunuru, Tiruvuru, A. Konduru, Gampalagudem, Vissannapeta, Bantumilli Kruthivennu and Bapulapadu mandal and destroyed the arrack and jaggery wash manufacturing units.
Villagers have been requested not to consume ID liquor during the New Year and Sankranti festival celebrations and spoil their lives, said Mr. Mohanlal.