Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh government today
issued fresh guidelines to sanction licences to new liquor
bars on the basis of population, a move that came under sharp
criticism from main Opposition Telugu Desam Party.
As per the Government Order (GO), the eligibility for
opening a bar in any municipality or municipal corporation
will be calculated on the basis of 2001 census.
Accordingly, the eligibility criterion would be: one bar
for every 30,000 for population up to three lakhs; one bar for
20,000 for population between three lakhs and seven lakhs; one
bar for every 12,000 if the population is above seven lakhs.
If any excess bars or retail shops are found to be in
existence in a particular municipality or city, their licenses
will be cancelled, the Order said.
Consequently, one retail shop for every 10,000 would be
eligible if the population is up to 50,000 and one retail shop
for every 15,000 would be eligible if the population is
between 50,000 to seven lakhs.
Slamming the decision, TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu
alleged that the Congress government has opened flood gates
for flow of liquor in the state.
"The government is not able to provide clean drinking
water, health care facilities and electricity to the people.
But, they are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that liquor
bars are available as per population. We will oppose this
tooth and nail," he told reporters.
The state government has recently secured about Rs 7,000
crore by auctioning liquor shops.