News Source: www.hindustantimes.com
Delhi’s south corporation to seal new liquor vends that violate norms: Mayor
News Source/Courtesy: www.hindustantimes.com

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led South Delhi Municipal Corporation has directed the municipal commissioner to survey and verify that all the new liquor vends opening in south Delhi comply with norms as the new excise policy becomes increasingly politicised.

The norms include payment of conversion charges and old property tax returns, completion certificates, building by-laws and licensing norms.

Delhi government has exited the retail liquor business with the new excise regime kicking in from November 17. According to this policy, the liquor business is now being handled completely by private players. The policy was put in the public domain in July under which spacious, well-lit and air-conditioned liquor vends will be set up in 32 zones across the city, with a provision of 27 liquor vends in each zone. Both the Opposition parties in the state assembly, the BJP and Congress have been opposing the new policy. Protests have been held by the BJP and Congress in the House meetings of all three corporations.

A resolution to survey and verify norm compliance was passed by the general body meeting of the civic body on Thursday.Mukesh Suryan, the mayor of the south MCD, said Sunday that a survey of all the liquor vends will be initiated soon and the units violating norms will be sealed. “Our teams will check the parameters of the newly opened liquor vends. From completion certificates of premises in which liquor vends are being opened to licenses--all will be re-verified, and if any violation is found, the units will be sealed with immediate effect,” Suryan said.

Abhishek Dutt, councillor from Andrewsganj and leader of Congress councillor group in SDMC, moved the private member resolution on Thursday.

“According to the new excise policy, private liquor vends have been opened in various buildings and properties but many such premises do not meet the norms fixed by the Delhi Municipal Corporations in terms of building bylaws, property tax, licensing norms etc. Therefore, the House of South Delhi Municipal Corporation resolves and directs the municipal commissioner to initiate action as per Delhi Municipal Corporation Act 1957,” the approved The resolution cleared by House states. The resolution also directs sealing of the vends which are found not to meet the norms and standards fixed by the civic body.

Dutt said that under the old excise policy, the municipal corporations were required to provide a no-objection certificate before a vend could open, but the step has not been incorporated in the new policy.

Prem Kumar, the leader of the Opposition in SDMC from the Aam Aadmi Party, said that he does not want to get into a discussion about the merits of the liquor policy. “The immediate concern of the MCDs should be the improvement of sanitation situation. The discussions should be held on why SDMC failed to perform well in the Swachh Survekshan (cleanliness survey) rankings. Instead of discussing pollution and sanitation issues, the BJP is trying to divert the attention of the public from corruption and misgovernance by raking up the liquor policy,” he said.

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News Source: www.hindustantimes.com

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