Thiruvananthapuram: It seems the state government is all set to roll out more and more plans to make liquor sales in the state much easier. The latest in line is a proposal to reduce the stipulated distance limit in the case of bars attached to four and five star hotels. The move is to cut the minimum distance limit of 200 meters from schools and places of worship to just 50 meters. A draft report on this is under the active consideration of the government.
As per the existing rules, bars and liquor shops are not allowed in 200 meters distance of schools, places of worship and dalit and tribal colonies. The minimum distance in the case of toddy shops is 400 meters. The 'safe’ distance is measured from gate to gate.
Until 2011, the minimum distance limit for the bars attached to hotels of four-star and above categories was 50 meters. Following widespread protests, the distance limit was increased to 200 meters. Now, the government is planning to reverse it to 50 meters. Excise officials told Manorama Online that the discussions on the report were going on and a final decision was yet to take.
Bars in Kerala: Now and then
· The number of liquor outlets functioning in the state during the last phase of UDF rule: 306 state-controlled liquor outlets, 29 bars, 813 beer and wine parlors and 4,730 toddy shops.
· March 2017: 306 state-controlled liquor outlets. 30 bars, 815 beer and wine parlors and 4,234 toddy shops.
· After the SC ban on liquor sale on highways: 281 state-controlled liquor outlets, 25 bars, 285 beer and wine parlors and 3,520 toddy shops.