Toddy shops taking away tranquillity of residential areas in Hyderabad

A toddy shop right in front of a residential apartment at Yousufguda Krishna Kanth Park in the city.

A toddy shop right in front of a residential apartment at Yousufguda Krishna Kanth Park in the city.  

Police, Excise Department officials look the other way, complain residents

Toddy shops in the midst of residential localities in Hyderabad are a nightmare as the nuisance within the four walls of the premises often spill onto the roads in no time.

The shops have come up adjacent to houses at Borabanda, Saroornagar, L.B. Nagar, Kukatpally, Shapur, Nimboliadda, Uppal, Boduppal and several other places creating trouble in the neighbourhood. The consumers quarrel, come to blows and swoon after a heady drink. Those who fall flat are lifted or dragged by their collar by workers at the shops and they are left to their fate at a distance away. Till six months ago, a shop existed in the cellar of a shopping complex on the busy road where Rajendranagar-bound buses stopped at Kothi. Residents, on condition of anonymity, told The Hindu that the tipsy consumers used to sleep at parking places of nearby residential apartments. They avoided going in the direction of the shops and instead took alternative routes for safety. It was found by morning-walkers that some people knocked on the gates of the shops at 5 a.m., while workers themselves turned up after 6 a.m.

Instances of theft of cellphones and attacks on men when they tried to make friends with women were all too common at the shops. There is a separate sitting place for women at almost all the shops, but men and women drinking together at many places. “The police have turned a blind eye to the goings-on, as they get their ‘mamool’ on time,” a resident said. And Excise Department officials were no different. They carry out inspection of these places periodically, but take no action against the owners. A shop in the heart of the city was closed for adulteration, but was reopened within months. An obnoxious odour wafts out from the shops given the mixing of chemicals with the toddy. The smell only thickens as consumers approach vendors selling snacks such as fried fish or other eatables.

A resident said a shop owner circumvented the norm of keeping a 100-metre distance from a school or a temple by shifting the entrance to the other end of the premises. Otherwise, the boundary of the shop on one side was well within the 100-metre distance from both a government primary school and a temple. The owner secured the license and did brisk business in a building post-revival of the shops in 2015. It was a small business carried out from a tiled house prior to the ban.

When the owner of the house lodged a complaint over the issue of license, a huge crowd mobilised by the shop owner was said to have descended on the house to intimidate the former. Neighbours who had made common cause with the complainant slipped away out of fear.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 5:41:13 PM |

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