State Excise officials reported that they have caught more illegal alcohol in the run-up to the Assembly elections compared to the amount seized during the Lok Sabha (LS) election period. Authorities attributed this to the availability of water, which is a raw material for liquor manufacturers.

Officials have seized alcohol worth Rs 2.4 crore in the state. Ahead of the LS polls, this figure was Rs 1.99 crore. Total seizures, which include intercepted vehicles, are worth Rs 9 crore, as against the Rs 7.66 crore during the LS polls. Illicit liquor manufactured locally by unlicensed brewers makes up a large chunk of these catches.

Prasad Surve, director, state excise, said, “Total seizures in this election are much more than in the Lok Sabha elections. This is because manufacturing of illicit liquor takes a hit during summer because of lack of water, and sales are also directly affected. Because the Vidhan Sabha elections happened after the monsoon, the water situation in the city was much better, and, therefore, more alcohol was made, and caught.”

Voting day
Only five cases of illegal alcohol being intercepted were registered yesterday as the city went to polls. All five were recorded in the suburbs, worth a total of Rs 17,500. The city team registered no case. On October 14, after 5 pm, the team fom the suburbs had managed a haul of alcohol worth Rs 6.37 lakh.

The last case was around 1 am that night. The capture included 420.42 litres of country liquor, 519.74 litres of Indian Made Foreign Liquor, 843.09 litres of beer and 352 litres of illicit liquor. A Honda Activa scooterette worth Rs 16,000 was also taken into custody.

The city team, after 5 pm on October 14, registered 13 cases, bringing in alcohol worth R44,156. Apart from illegally manufactured liquor, excise officials also crack down on booze being transported without the requisite licences or permits.