Blame it on poor monitoring mechanism by the officials or get-rich-quick attitude of liquor shop owners, open places near liquor shops have turned into open air bars in the city.
Alcohol consumption near the liquor shops has become so common nowadays that people tend to quicken their steps to cross the liquor shops in the hope of avoiding bumping into a drunkard, a possibility which could lead to an altercation.
Problem for women
It’s not just a nuisance to road users alone, but a major problem for women and children who cross the liquor shops.
For those picking up 90 ml or 180 ml whisky bottles and intending to gulp the liquor there itself, plastic glasses, water sachets and some ‘namkeen’ are readily available.
Either they are sold on push carts or by those hawkers who would just stand there with a bag containing the glasses and sachets.
In most of the cases, liquor shops keep bottle openers handy for the ‘needy’ customers who buy beer bottles.
Buy a beer bottle, open it, carry it across, gulp it and move.
That’s quick and a win-win situation for the guzzler as well as the seller.
But such activity is leading to awkward scenes at many places.
Nuisance near shops
Many a time, the inebriated fortified with Dutch courage wobble onto the road as vehicles screech to a halt or they would make snide remarks at women or argue among themselves leading to fisticuffs.
While shop owners maintain that they are not responsible for nuisance created outside the shop, police and excise officials say that owners have to take steps to avert such possibility.
Andhra Pradesh Wine Dealers Association secretary D. Venkateswara Rao says the enforcement agencies have to prevent vendors from selling water sachets, glasses and snacks on the pavement at the shop instead of blaming owners.
“How can they expect us to contain the problem? It’s not our responsibility once customers leave the shop on purchasing liquor,” he argued.
Excise officials, however, claim that they are taking action against the erring shops.
“Cases have been booked against shopkeepers at Ameerpet, Secunderabad, Banjara Hills and Musheerabad,” said Excise Deputy Commissioner M.M.A. Faruqui.
Though it is not a rule, the department has made it mandatory for owners not to entertain such activity within 100 metres of the shop, he explained.
Complaints can be lodged by dialling round-the-clock control room no. 24737780.
In most cases, liquor shops keep bottle openers handy for ‘needy’ customers who come to buy beer bottles