Party season puts your pegs under excise scrutiny

Published: Dec 16, 2011, 07:41 IST | Urvashi Seth |

With X'mas and New Year's round the corner, excise officials ask party halls in the city to submit details of daily alcohol purchase to keep a tab on illegal inflow from other states

With X'mas and New Year's round the corner, excise officials ask party halls in the city to submit details of daily alcohol purchase to keep a tab on illegal inflow from other states

Two days after the State Excise department seized bottles of Goan liquor from a wedding party in Bandra, Excise officials have decided to keep a close watch on Christmas and New Year parties in the city to check the consumption of illicit alcohol. The department has issued orders to all the party halls in the city, asking them to provide details of their daily liquor purchase. The details would help officials pick out any illegal alcohol on their surprise checks at party venues, they said.

On high: The bottles of Goan liquor seized by the state excise officials
from a wedding party in Bandra.
Pic/ Atul Kamble

The order (copy with MiD DAY) said that the imminent year-end festivities and the rise in liquor prices have boosted illegal liquor supply from neighbhouring states such as Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Daman and Diu. "We fear a human carrier is getting the illicit liquor from the other states. To curb this, we request everyone to send us their daily purchase figures of the liquor they will be buying from December 25 to 31," it said. 

"After we raided a wedding party on Monday, we realised that the supply of illicit liquor will be more in grand parties where liquor is consumed in a huge quantity. Hence, we have issued orders to all the party halls to share details of their purchase to avoid use of illicit liquor. With New Year's round the corner, we do not want to take any chances," said N M Mudiraj, superintendent, Excise department (suburbs).

"We do not want party hall owners to make use of cheap duty-free liquor from military canteens or from the airport or illicit liquor. Also, liquor is getting in through various media such as train, air and also by a human cargo carrier. So, from now, every licensee will have to submit details of their purchase of liquor to the respective departments," he said.

MiD DAY had earlier reported ('Excise to keep tab on deadline and bootlegging on New Year', November 28) that the Excise department, to curb the sale of illicit/spurious liquor in the city, started conducting surprise checks to scrutinise the quality of liquor served at party halls and bars. The department also established new check posts to monitor the inflow of alcohol in the state.

According to a senior excise official, though the sale of liquor has gone down in terms of volume, the department's suburban section witnessed a rise in revenue as compared to last year by 32 per cent.

The seizure
On Monday, excise officials had seized liquor imported from Goa, which was being served to guests at a wedding party in a Bandra hall. The team seized alcohol worth Rs 32,000, including bottles of well-known brands such as Vat 69, Smirnoff vodka and rum, and Royal Stag. The party hall owner had sought a day's party licence from the excise department, and it permitted the sale of government-sealed bottles only.

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