As many as 90 per cent respondents in an online opinion poll have advocated shifting of liquor vends operating from green belts and near residential areas in the city to marketplaces. The locals have been carrying out a campaign for several months now seeking amendment into the excise policy in this regard.

In the online opinion poll by iamgurgaon , a non-government organisation, on its Facebook page, 1,027 people have responded in the affirmative to the question whether the Government should limit the liquor shops in Gurgaon to commercial marketplaces. Just 67 people were in favour of continuing liquor shops in green belts and open public spaces.

“It might be a small figure in terms of number of respondents, but the fact that an overwhelming majority wants these vends to be shifted reflects the mood of the city. These vends are responsible for traffic jams and insecurity on the roads, especially for women,” said iamgurgaon co-founder member Latika Thukral.

Accenture General Manager Arpita Bhattacharya, one of the respondents, in her Facebook post said: “Commercial markets only. My issue is there is no place for pedestrians to walk, no place for cyclists, no place to cross the roads, bad roads, yet fancy liquor shops. Why not focus on the basics?”

Dolphin Technologies owner Vikas Patra, another respondent, posted: “These vends should be limited to commercial areas.... It’s terrible experience to have a liquor shop in a residential area. We are facing this. But government is busy making money through liquor. It seems least bothered about the problems faced by the people.”

The Government cites high rentals in commercial areas as a major deterrent in shifting of these vends, but Ms. Thukral argued that there was a way out if the Administration was really serious about it. “If the Government is serious about the issue, it could fix lower bids for those willing to shift their vends to commercial areas thus compensating for the high rentals. But it seems that resistance on the issue is only from Gurgaon and not from other districts. The Government is not serious. What is the priority of the Government? Is it the revenue or the residents?” asked Ms. Thukral.

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