Maharashtra: Age limit to consume alcohol raised

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Mumbai, Jun 1: Maharashtra government has raised the age limit for consumption of alcohol.

The age for drinking beer is 18 -21 years of age, while hard liquor has been raised from 21-25 years of age.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has denied that it was an attempt to moral policing and added that the decision was taken by state cabinet to increase the contribution from people's side to control consuming alcohol.

However, consuming wine does not have any age restriction.

"One of the major areas of concern is to control the consumption of illegal liquor which kills people. If sale of illegal liquor is found anywhere, the police and excise chief would be held responsible," warned Chavan.

He said the government would launch a campaign to curb liquor consumption, especially among youngsters, by releasing advertisements, publicity through different media and even in school textbooks on the hazards of liquor.

He said that the government would take steps to launch a campaign to limit the alcohol consumption especially amongst youngsters by publishing and releasing more advertisements and different media. School text books would also have chapters on the hazards of alcohol.

Women have also been 'empowered' in the alcohol control programme, with 25 percent of women voters in a village panchayat or a city ward can demand the closing down of any alcohol shop in their locality.

Chavan also said that despite talks and different opinions from people, people agreed that alcohol consumption on a regular basis cost a lot to the society and was one the causes of stress on the health care system of the country.

In Wardha and the Gadchiroli where a ban is in force, there are other side effects as well, said Chavan.

Chavan further said that though it was not a perfect policy, the government would try its best to discourage youngsters from consuming alcohol.

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