Maharashtra's excise department on Tuesday said that it has issued 715 liquor licenses for parties on New Year's Eve this year as against 691 licenses issued last year in Mumbai.
"On December 31, parties are arranged every year. We have requested people not to conduct parties illegally. The excise department had issued 691 licenses last year for conducting parties. This year, we have issued 715 licenses till now," Superintendent of State Excise Department of Mumbai City CB Rajput said.
He also informed that the department issued five lakh individual drinking permits this year until now in Mumbai. Rajput, however, called on people to ensure not to disturb law and order while celebrating the arrival of the New Year. "Our department conducts a special drive in the nights. We have registered 40 cases so far as part of this special drive and arrests have been made in these cases. 11 squads having eight to ten officers each are conducting these drives," Rajput added.
The state's Director of Enforcement and Vigilance, Usha Varma informed that 45 squads of the force are active across Maharashtra of which 11 are in Mumbai. "There are 12 check posts (in Mumbai) to look into the illegal sale of alcohol and illegal activities during alcohol consumption," Varma informed. According to her, the state has earned Rs 10,007 crore of total revenue up to November this year from issuing alcohol licenses and taxes in comparison to Rs 9,120 crore last year.
"The growth can be seen due to the awareness of people about the rules and regulations," Verma said. The official added that the department has registered many cases related to duplicate liquor sale in the name of foreign brands and these cases increase as New Year approaches.
(With ANI inputs)