Navi Mumbai perks up city's spirits on Election Day

Sellers in the satellite city enjoy a 20-30% hike in alcohol sales, with citizens from Mumbai making trips to its alcohol shops on their dry day

Although the sale of alcohol was banned in Mumbai and Thane on account of the civic polls yesterday, a significant amount of alcohol was sold -- not from the city -- but reportedly supplied from Navi Mumbai.

According to figures, liquor shops in Navi Mumbai saw a rise in sales by 20 to 30 per cent yesterday. "I experienced an increase in sales today. I cannot tell you to whom I have sold the alcohol but I have sold around 30 per cent more alcohol today compared to everyday," said a liquor seller from Vashi, who wished anonymity. 

 And sources said that more liquor would make its way into the city on Friday, the day when the results will be announced, since shops will remain shut in Mumbai and Thane till Friday evening. "It is impossible for us to wait till 5.30 pm for us to celebrate, as results of the polls will be out by noon. So we will travel to the satellite city to buy alcohol," said a party worker, who did not wish to be named.

No checks
When MiD DAY approached the police to comment on the issue of the supply of alcohol from Navi Mumbai to the city, officials said it was not possible to curb the sales. "Since selling alcohol was not banned in Navi Mumbai, we could not stop anyone. Additionally, inspecting vehicles for alcohol is the duty of the excise department," said Vijay Patil, deputy commissioner, Navi Mumbai.

On the other hand, officials from the excise department said that they could do little to curb the supply of alcohol, as most buyers used small vehicles to transport the liquor. "In Mumbai, we have seized alcohol worth Rs 1.25 lakh from Chunabhatti and Powai since Wednesday night. However, we cannot check each and every car and moreover, checking smaller cars is almost impossible," said an excise official from the Maharashtra State excise department.

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