News : Removal of Belt Shops in N Andhra a Phone Call Away
Visakhapatnam /Srikakulam, June 26, 2014 -- Following the government’s stringent directions to remove all illegal liquor shops, the collectors of Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam districts convened meetings with the officials concerned. During the meeting, Visakhapatnam collector Solmon Arokiaraj appealed to the people to cooperate with the government in the removal of illegal belt shops and directed the excise department to constitute separate district, mandal and village committees for the execution of the order.
On the occasion, district-level committee was set up with collector as its chairman, superintendent of police and deputy superintendent of police, RDO, excise superintendent, deputy superintendent and assistant commissioner, and five members from NGOs as its member conveners.
Similarly, a mandal-level committee was formulated with Mandal Praja Parishad president as its chairman, president and secretaries of Mandal Mahila Samakhya, sub-inspector of police, MPDO, tahsildar and two nominated persons as its member conveners. The village-level committee consisted of respective village sarpanch as chairman, village secretary, school headmaster and VRO as member conveners.
The committees will take up a massive campaign to ensure that no belt shop operates in the village. The excise department will set up a call centre to register complaints against the liquor outlets.
A call centre was also set up at the District Excise Office with helpline number 0891-2550241 to seek information about the belt shops.
In Srikakulam district, collector Saurabh Gaur called upon the women to be part of the ‘mission’. He established a district-level task force with District and Town Mahila Samakhya members. Annual liquor sales worth `2,400 crore were registered in the district even as the government was spending `350 crore per year to create employment opportunities for the people of rural areas in their own villages under NREGS but in vain, he pointed out.
Referring to the shortage of excise police personnel, he highlighted the need for a strong social policing for the removal of illegal belt shops in the district. He said that prizes would be given to informers for revealing details about belt shops. He also urged people to dial the toll free numbers in this regard.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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