Adilabad: Many applicants, several of them non-locals, are in the race for liquor licences for certain locations in Kumram Bheem Asifabad and Mancherial districts that share boundaries with some districts of Maharashtra where sale of liquor is banned. Liquor shops in bordering areas in Telangana are in heavy demand since they are a major source of liquor ‘export’ to the neighbouring State.
According to information provided by authorities of Prohibition and Excise Department, a total of 2,956 applications were received for participation in the draw to decide licence holders for 163 shops across erstwhile Adilabad district. A shop in Sirpur (T) mandal centre saw highest applications of 81 followed by 79 applications submitted to secure the licence for Ravindranagar in Chintalamanepali mandal.
The proposed liquor shop at Ravindranagar, being allotted for the first time, is expected to earn large revenues as it is located close to Maharashtra. A total of 39 and 38 applications were received for two shops each in Koutala mandal centre of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. As many as 49 applications were dropped for a shop in Kotapalli mandal centre of Mancherial district.
The common thread of the shops is that they are situated on the borders of Telangana and Maharashtra on the banks of Pranahita river. They can be accessed from any part of Wardha, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli, following availability of road link and bridges across the river, a tributary of Godavari. The shops witness maximum number of applications due to scope for making fast bucks for licence holders.
For instance, a shop in Koutala mandal centre recorded sale of Rs 33.54 crore, followed by Bejjur’s outlet which had sales to the tune to Rs 30.81 crore between 2017 and 2019. The outlets in Sirpur (T) and Dahegaon mandals also registered sales of over Rs 20 crore during the period. “Liquor is purchased from these shops only to be sold in Maharashtra’s three districts, Wardha, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts,” a source told Telangana Today.
“Despite ban in the three districts, the importation of liquor is going unabated with enforcement agencies accepting monthly mamools and big shots involved in the menace. Meanwhile, Maharashtra will hold elections to Legislative Assembly in the near future. These two factors drove many to vie for the licences of the outlets,” a source from Maharashtra revealed.
There is a blanket ban on the sale of liquor in Gadchiroli and Wardha districts following public outcry demanding the same since 1992. Sale of alcohol is prohibited in Chandrapur district in the interest of health of people from 2013. Ban on sale, purchase and consumption of alcohol is linked to Mahatma Gandhi whose ashram is situated in Sevagram of Wardha district.