With the onset of the New Year weekend, the party circuit has already started getting hotter irrespective of the chill in the air. And Punekars, already drenched in the spirit of revelry, are guzzling alcohol like never before as the sales for liquor has shot up by almost 40 per cent as compared to corresponding period last year.
All piled up: Sources say three lakh bottles of liquor and beer have
been sold compared to 1.8 lakh bottles in 2010. Representation pic
According to sources, around three lakh bottles of liquor and beer have been sold in the city so far as compared to nearly 1.8 lakh bottles during the festive season in 2010. As the New Year's Eve falls on a Saturday this time, liquor shops are well stocked up to cope with sudden surge of customers.
"There is a huge demand for rum, whiskey and beer. We have ordered extra boxes of beer and other drinks to meet the demand of party revellers. We have been noticing around 40 per cent increase in sales in all our stores as compared to corresponding month of the last year. Certain selected brands are already out of stock in some shops. We are still waiting for the consignments meant for New Year Eve," said P Sailesh of Kumar wines.
According to shop owners, despite the state government setting an age bar (25 years) for taking hard drinks, most of their customers comprise of young college students. "We never hand out liquor before checking students' identity. But then it is a party season, they will arrange for booze from anywhere," Sailesh added.
According to the figures from the excise department, which has received additional applications seeking permission to organise parties this year, the sale of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) such as whiskeys and rums has grown by 14.7%, while country liquor is seeing a rise by 12%, while the sale for wine has risen by 10%.
"The sales this year has been good. People have been flocking our stores before Christmas fearing that shops may run out of stock," said store owner of Mahesh Wines at Vasantwadi.
Cops on toes to crack down on drink-driving
Police officials will set up checkpoints at all major roads and junctions in the city to nab intoxicated motorists. Licences of such persons will be confiscated and they will be produced in court. The drive began two days ago and will continue till January 1 All the city's 30 traffic divisions will be part of this drive and the department will distribute 40 breath analysers to every traffic squad. The traffic police have identified 30 major points in the outskirts and in the city, where incidences of drink-driving are high. "We have also identified a few other roads where drivers will least suspect a police patrol or checkpoints," an official said.