AMARAVATI: ‘Ban on alcohol and welfare of the public is important than government income,’ said Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Excise, Commercial Taxes K Narayana Swamy. He said raids have been conducted in Dhone and Krishnagiri Mandal in Kurnool district on January 28 and 6,000 duplicate MC whiskey bottles and 70 litres spirit were seized.

Talking to media here on Friday, he said the government decided to ban alcohol as several families were ruined and women from those families are suffering. That is why Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had decided to ban alcohol in the state. In the first phase, liquor shops have been reduced by 20 percent.

The main accused Vinod Khalal and seven others were arrested in this case. About 24 members were involved in manufacturing illicit liquor. So far, 11 members were arrested in the case and search is on for 13 others.

Similarly, on January 30, during the raids, 60 bottles of liquor belonging to Karnataka state was identified and seized from a person in Chintalapudi village of Guntur district. In this case, Kadiyam Koti Subbarao and Bhuthamekala Mohan Rao were arrested on February 6. Across the State, through a special drive, raids were conducted in 82 villages on February 6 alone. During these raids, 13 cases were registered and 15 were arrested.

In a span of 10 days, illegal Ganja cultivation of about 25,62,500 plants have been destroyed. It was identified that Ganja cultivation is being done in 512acres ranging about 3,84,350 kgs, which is valued at Rs 76.87crores in the open market.

In addition to this, 521 litres of country liquor has been destroyed along with 84,115 litres of jaggery syrup, which is a key ingredient in the preparation of country liquor. Also the government seized 1482 kgs of jaggery

The minister further stated that the government closed 43 belt shops which were there during the previous regime. "Our government is committed towards the abolition of liquor, which will be done in a phased manner. Since the day we formed government, the sale of liquor is being controlled in a large scale."

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