The CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala is all set to reopen around 200 bars in three-star and four-star hotels. While liquor prohibition is in force in the state, alcohol is being served only in five-star hotels as per the UDF government's order in 2014. The LDF government on Thursday moved to clear decks allowing liquor to be served in three-star and four-star hotels.
"Liquor licence will be given to three star and above hotels. Beer and Wine licence will be allotted to eligible hotels. The government will promote liquor abstention campaign and establish de-addiction centers," said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The government approved recommendations made by LDF state committee to also promote good quality toddy by allowing its sale in three star and four star hotels.
The LDF State committee has asked the government to frame new liquor policy for the current excise year that would allow reopening of bars. "The committee had asked the State government to allow resumption of operations by three-star and four-star bars in view of the sharp increase in substance abuse in the State, particularly among youngsters, accompanied by a general increase in liquor consumption. The closure of bars has not brought down liquor consumption. It has only increased it," said DF convenor Vaikom Viswan
The committee has also recommended the sale of 'good quality toddy' at bars that are likely to reopen soon in three and four-star hotels at tourist centres. The recommendation also includes seeking government's permission to relocate beer and wine parlours and other liquor outlets on National Highways in accordance with the Supreme Court verdict.
The committee has suggested that the liquor outlets could be opened 500 metres away from National Highways in the interest of the workers employed by owners provided the outlet owners are able to offer hygienic premises and other facilities.