Expert swimmers take advantage of the strong current in the overflowing river Penganga to smuggle liquor to some villages in Adilabad district
A flooded Penganga may send shivers down the spine of the toughened farmers who have lived on its banks for centuries but, not the liquor smugglers who are having a gala time thanks to the panchayat election. The smugglers in fact use the strong current in the overflowing river to their advantage to cover longer distances in comparatively quick time.
In villages like Pendalwada, Sangvi and Kouta in Jainad mandal there are expert swimmers, who are actually hired by the kingpins, who can bring considerable quantity of non duty paid liquor from Maharashtra just by crossing the Penganga which is about 300 metres at its widest. They use large sized inflatable tubes of tractors and large sized air tight drums to ferry the consignments.
The crates are loaded at Pippalkuti village, on the other side of the river near Dollara village, onto the tubes to which the swimmer-smugglers cling to in the water. Knowing every inch of the river bed and it embankment they just guide these floats through the flow and reach Pendalwada which is about 2 km or Sangvi and Kouta, another km farther.
"The activity has come into vogue since the last five years and is at its peak during elections. The authorities are hand in glove with the smugglers which is why they carry on with their nefarious work unchecked”, said an angry villager from Sangvi.
According to villagers, at least two large consignments are off loaded every day in the border villages to be supplied to voters of gram panchayats in Jainad which goes to poll on July 27. The quantum of non duty paid liquor can be calculated by the number of tubes used by the swimmers as each tube holds about a dozen boxes of nips added the villagers, who are vexed with the smuggling.