Sundays to be 'dry' in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 5: Liquor sale outlets and bars in Kerala will remain closed on all Sundays beginning today as part of the Congress-led UDF Government's liquor policy which seeks to lead the state to total prohibition within a decade.

Under the new policy, nearly 400 retail liquor outlets of state Beverages Corporation, the sole distributor of Indian Made Foreign Liquor, will remain shut for 52 days a year.

Apart from Sundays, holidays like Gandhi Jayanthi, Sree Nayarayana Guru birth anniversary and Good Friday are already dry days in the state.

The Government has ordered closure of bars attached to hotels, except in the five-star category, as part of the policy of reducing availability of liquor to the people.

Also, 10 per cent of the retail outlets will be closed each year.

Over the years, Kerala has earned a reputation of being one of the top liquor consuming states in the country.

The state had a foretaste of partial prohibition when the the ministry headed A K Antony banned sale of arrack in mid- 1990s.

The Kerala High Court is expected to deliver the judgement on the plea of hotel owners challenging the government decision this week.


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