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Long queues of tipplers in front of outlets

Long queues of tipplers in front of outlets

Thiruvananthapuram: Long queues of tipplers were seen infront of liquor shops at various places across the State for the second day Monday following closure of nearly 2000 outlets abutting the national and state highways.

The first day of each month is a dry day in the state

The Supreme Court has in an order said that liquor vends within 500 metres of national and state highways will have to shut down from April 1.

Kerala is staring at a revenue loss of about Rs 5000 crore due to the closure of 1956 outlets following the apex court order.

Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said the revenue loss would adversely impact the funding of the government.

To overcome the crisis, government was mulling various options, he said.

According to sources government plans to relocate the outlets as per the apex court directive. There were also proposal to open more counters in the outlets to meet the demand of tipplers.

In many places, police had to intervene to control the people standing in queues for hours in front of outlets which were open.

Opposition Leader in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala today alleged that government was trying to scuttle the apex court verdict and this would not be allowed.

Government should implement the Supreme Court direction, he said.

Meanwhile, KPCC President (In-charge) M M Hassan said government should implement the Supreme Court order.

"The liquor outlets within the 500 meter national highways and state highways have to be closed and relocated', he said. It should be opened only in places where there were no resistance from people", he said.

Congress led UDF Opposition stood by its policy to reduce the availability of liquor, Hassan told reporters here.

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