27 July, 2021

Will Delhi Go Dry?

The Delhi government takes tentative steps by curbing liquor sale

Will Delhi Go Dry?

IT'S no storm in a tea cup. Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma is about to stir up a neat peg of trouble for the capital's tipplers. If his latest brainwave—Verma envisages the imposition of severe restrictions on the availability of liquor—becomes a reality, it is not the Delhi government alone that will lose more than Rs 330 crore a year, an entire way of life will be bottled up by the moral brigade that is out to dampen the city's spirits. But can prohibition actually be enforced in a city where drinking has, since times immemorial, been a social activity for all occasions, for all seasons?

 "Why not?" queries Rajinder Gupta, Delhi's excise and transport minister, who has been assigned the task of ensuring that all bars and clubs located within 75 metres of educational institutions, places of worship and medical facilities are denied liquor licences. "A recent survey in a national magazine has shown that more than 80 per cent of India's men and women are in favour of prohibition. The lobby is getting stronger in the wake...

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