Excise department to crack down on illegal booze during Ganpati visarjan

Officials have formed flying squads to curb supply and consumption of liquor on the tenth day, which is a dry day; raids have already been conducted on manufacturing units

The State Excise department is taking precautionary measures to prevent consumption of illicit liquor on the tenth day of Ganpati visarjan, a dry day. The department, which functions in two sub divisions — city and suburbs has formed squads to keep vigil on illicit alcohol consumption.

Officials have created four flying squads two each for the island city and the suburbs to stop illegal supply of liquor coming into the city. The four squads have a total of 14 inspectors, with each inspector having four people under him/her.

The Excise inspectors for the respective areas have been briefed on their duties for the day. Officials will be deputed to sensitive areas and will also take rounds in the regions under them to crack down on illegal liquor consumption and manufacturing.

According to a senior Excise official, the number of raids were also increased from yesterday. “In order to stop illegal supply of intoxicants from outside Mumbai, surprise checks will be conducted at toll nakas, especially at Thane toll plaza, since a majority of cases have been caught from Thane,” he explained.

The raids already began from yesterday, since people tend to procure alcohol a couple of days prior to the dry day i.e. the tenth day of Ganpati visarjan. Excise officials will also target some hotspots — like Gorai and Aarey colony, which are known to be hubs of manufacturing and supplying illegal hooch.

Prasad Surve, director, state excise department, said, “It is officially a dry day throughout the state, but the staff will be deployed on-field, so that if any person or group is seen consuming or supplying alcohol, he/she can be arrested.” It should be noted that the department can only detain/arrest people if the latter are seen consuming or supplying alcohol. They cannot arrest someone if he/she is under the influence of alcohol on a dry day.

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