Seven control rooms set up to prevent its illegal sale and supply

With only a few days left for the urban local body elections in the district, several candidates and their supporters are freely distributing liquor to voters.

Taking serious note of the free flow of liquor, the Excise Department has established seven control rooms across the district to prevent its illegal sale and supply during campaign.

The departmentconducted 149 raids at different places in the district between February 15 and 27 and booked cases against owners of bars and restaurants.

668 candidates

A total of 668 candidates are in poll fray. Among them, 175 candidates are contesting for 35 wards of the Mandya City Municipal Council.

The control rooms have been set up at Mandya, Malavalli, Pandavapura, Maddur, Nagamangala, Srirangapatna and K.R. Pet, a senior official of the Excise Department told The Hindu .

Control room officials are taking complaints of distribution of alcohol to voters during the campaigning for urban local bodies in the district. Besides, the department had set up 218 booth points at different parts of the district.

From February 15 to 27, officials blocked road at 125 places and inspected vehicles, the officer said.

The department also deployed additional staff for patrolling to check illegal distribution and storage of alcohol, besides intensifying inspection at checkposts, the official said.

Excise officials booked 23 cases against several bar and restaurants for violations, another officer said.

“Bar and liquor shop owners are allegedly selling liquor to minors. We have instructed them not to serve liquor to those under the age of 18,” the officer, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

Party agents and supporters were luring voters by illegally distributing liquor, Siddaraju, a social activist, told this correspondent. Agents at several slums were freely distributing liquor to attract voters, he said.

Complaints

The seven control rooms will operate round-the-clock to take complaints of illegal storage or distribution of liquor to voters. The identity of those who provide information will be kept secret. To contact the control room, call 08232-220313/ 225657.

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