Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said that in the current year, no new liquor shop with government license would be opened in the national capital.
Communicating the Delhi Cabinet decision to the media, Kejriwal said: “This year no new liquor shop with L6 license (government license) will be opened in Delhi.” The decision was taken by the government following several complaints of unruly behaviour from around liquor shops.
The Chief Minister also warned that strict action will be taken against shop owners and managers of existing liquor shops if any wrong activities are reported about them. He said the future of existing liquor shops will be decided by the residents of the particular area.
Explaining the move, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was present at the conference, said if residents of any locality have problems with liquor shops in their area then they should give a written complaint with the signature of at least 10 per cent voters of that particular area.
“We will then call for mohalla sabha (neighbourhood meeting) which will decide whether to shift or shut down the liquor shop,” Sisodia said, adding that with this move “we have now given power in the hands of the citizens of Delhi.”
He said for functioning of any neighbourhood meeting, the quorum of at least 15 per cent of the voters of that area should be completed.
“The gathering in the neighbourhood meeting should have 33 per cent women. The decision on the fate of any liquor shop should be backed by two-third majority,” Sisodia added.
Earlier this month, Swaraj Abhiyan – a group launched by expelled AAP leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan – had said 58 new liquor shops have opened since Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government came to power in Delhi.
Swaraj Abhiyan welcomed the city government’s move and said it was a victory of its campaign against new liquor vends in Delhi.
“Swaraj Abhiyan welcomes the announcement by the CM that the government will not be opening any new liquor shop in Delhi. It is the victory of our campaign against new liquor vends in the city,” Swaraj Abhiyan said in a statement.