Kottayam: The Kerala Catholic Bishops
Council has requested the state government to incorporate
vital changes in the liquor policy, saying the present one is
"dangerous to society".
It said the move to allot licenses to star hotels in
the name of tourism would only lead to unregulated
availability of liquor and ultimately render any restriction
"The working time of liquor outlets should be
restricted from 9.00 AM to 9.00 PM," chairman of the council`s
temperance commission Bishop Sebastian Thekethecheril told
The bishop said the government should adhere to the
promise in its election manifesto to empower local bodies to
decide on allowing liquor shops in their jurisdiction.
On July 26, the government decided to raise the age
for buying and drinking liquor from 18 years to 21. Working
hours of 683 bar hotels were reduced by three hours per day.
These bars can function only between 8.00 AM and 11.00 PM in
panchayats and municipalities and between 9.00 AM and 1200
hours mid-night. Presently, the bars open at 6 AM and function
up to 12 mid-night.
The rules will come into effect from April next as
license fee for this fiscal had already been collected.