TASMAC outlets nearby keep residents spiritless

Meera Srinivasan

Nothing seems to bar customers from having their way

CHENNAI: Residents of some localities in the city are in low spirits owing to the nuisance created by customers of the liquor outlets run by Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) Limited in their areas.

Residents of Mandaveli near West Circular Road have been encountering several problems in the recent past owing to their proximity to a TASMAC outlet and a bar. “Those going to the outlets tend to come and sit in front of my shop with their liquor bottles. Sometimes, they vomit in front of my shop and say inappropriate things,” said a pawn broker at his shop located near the outlet.

Residents said they would usually think twice to go to the medical shop nearby, fearing possible unruly behaviour of the customers of the outlet. “We make sure that women in our family do not go out in the evenings,” said a resident who did not want to be named.

Residents’ woes

Residents of Velachery have also been facing the problem of not being able to access the service lane of the Velachery Bypass Road in the evenings.

The TASMAC outlet located there had customers sitting in groups on the service lane leaving little space for traffic.

The scene is no better near the shops on the relatively narrow Velachery Main Road as customers of the outlets park their vehicles posing difficulties to motorists and pedestrians.

Residents of Krishnapuram (Ambattur) said that despite several petitions to the authorities, nothing had been done to address the situation in their locality.

“The area gets crowded in the evenings and particularly on Sundays, you can find nearly 100 bikes parked haphazardly,” president of Krishnapuram Residents’ Association R. Sridharan said. “We complained at the local police station and to a TASMAC employee.

He said they made good revenue in the area and asked me to suggest an equally lucrative location to shift,” he added.

Promising cases

However, residents of a few localities have succeeded in having the TASMAC outlet in area shifted elsewhere. Kolathur Residents Welfare Association president P. V. Srinivasa Rao said action was taken within a fortnight after their lodging a complaint.

“Since a fair price shop was located close to the outlet, there were several problems everyday.

But we were happy as action was taken quickly,” Mr.Rao said. Residents of Anna Nagar (blocks D and G) are also a happier lot after the TASMAC outlet in their locality was shut recently, following their complaints.

Home Secretary and TASMAC chairperson S. Malathi said the Corporation, while considering complaints, did not go just by the Tamil Nadu Liquor Retail Vending Rules but also the public objections. The Rules specify that no liquor shop be established in municipal corporation and municipalities within a distance of 50 metres and in other areas 100 metres of places of worship and educational institutions.

“We also go by public objections. Recently, we had an outlet in T.Nagar removed after we heard that women using the bus terminus there faced problems at night and we took immediate action,” she said.

However, she said that there was a delay in some cases as it was difficult to locate an alternative space for rent. Nearly 40 outlets were closed during the last two months, she said.

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