Staff Reporter

Excise Department reacts to Election Commission’s observation on the presence of belt shops

TIRUPATI: After waking up to a rude jolt by Election Commission’s serious observation on the presence of unauthorised liquor shops, locally referred to as ‘belt shops’, the Excise Department has decided to set up fifteen mobile checkpoints, however on a temporary basis, in the purview of the seven stations in the Tirupati Excise district.

Sadly enough, official records point to the presence of a very large number of such places in and around the temple city, thanks to the floating population and the ‘readymade market’ thus available. According to the Prohibition and Excise Superintendent, 196 such unauthorised places, which were found selling liquor and providing shelter to the guzzlers, have been removed in the Excise district and 33 arrested in this regard. 189 liquor bottles have also been recovered. Steps have been taken to ‘bind over’ old criminals and persons with doubtful credentials in their records under section 110 of Criminal Procedure Code. After arresting 56 persons and seizing 1,000 litres of country liquor being transported in three autorickshaws, the officials were successful in destroying 85,000 litres of jaggery wash. The department has also decided to initiate serious action on production, storage and transportation of country liquor and rectified spirit by raiding such places and taking the perpetrators into custody.

The Excise Superintendent can be contacted at 0877-224 0243 for providing tip-off on production, storage and transportation of country liquor or rectified spirit. The details of the informers will be kept confidential.

The numbers for other stations in the district are as follows: 94409 02542 (Tirupati Urban), 94409 02543 (Tirupati Rural), 94409 02544 (Pakala), 94409 02545 (Puttur), 94409 02547 (Srikalahasti), 94409 02548 (Satyavedu) and 94409 02549 (Nagari).