New Delhi, Dec 5: Intensifying its drive against open drinking, the Delhi government today decided to rope in sub-divisional magistrates, tehsildars to take action against violators besides forming ten additional teams for the same.
As per the plan, the government will also provide home guards and civil defence volunteers to assist a total of 20 teams to catch those consuming alcohol in public places, officials said.
The Excise Department has so far arrested 548 since the drive was launched on November 7 by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who held a meeting with senior excise officials at Delhi Secretariat here to review the initiative.
"In the meeting, it was decided to take SDMs and tehsildars on board to take action against people who are found to be drinking alcohol in the open. As per the Excise Act, SDMs and tehsildars can take action against such violators. Teams headed by SDMs and tehsildars will catch violators on Friday and Saturday," said a senior government official.
Sisodia, who handles the excise department, will write to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and Police Commissioner Alok Verma seeking sufficient police deployment with the teams of excise officials, SDMs and tehsildars.
"In the meeting, the Deputy CM was apprised that several violators were found to be drinking in the open in dark spots. In view of this, the minister assured that street lights will be installed at such places," the official said.
While announcing the drive last month, Sisodia had said consumption of alcohol in the open, particularly near liquor vends and in vehicles is not merely a safety hazard but a major problem for women safety in the national capital. On the first day of the drive, 36 people were arrested while 41 were held on Tuesday for drinking liquor in public places.
According to Excise Act, anyone caught drinking publicly has to pay a fine of Rs 5,000 and anyone creating nuisance in public is also fined Rs 10,000 and awarded imprisonment of six months.