Jajpur: Liquor outlets near prominent heritage and tourist destinations in the district have become major distractions for visitors to the town, a report said, adding these shops also hurt religious sentiments of devotees.
The excise department seems little concerned about the declining number of tourists to these sites as the department is said to be planning more liquor shops in the district.
According to sources, the administration has allowed liquor outlets near famous temples and schools to earn more revenues. Frequent protests by the locals have not yielded results.
For example, a foreign liquor shop has been allowed near the boundary wall of ancient Rajeswar Mahadev at Jajpur taxi stand. A primary school and Utkal Balashram, a children’s residential school also function within 100 meter radius of the temple. While many students study in the primary school, the Balashram is home to small kids. The liquor shop is having negative impact on the moral health of school students.
There is a homeopathic hospital in front of the temple also. Many poor women and children visit the hospital for consultation and fall victim to drunkards hurling abuse at them, a report said.
The nuisance caused by the drunken people seems to have no impact on the department officials, sparking resentment among the citizens.
On the other hand, the liquor shop causes traffic jam on the stretch as it is located near the petrol pump and taxi stand.
People start drinking at the shop itself parking their vehicles on the road making passenger buses and other public carriers wait for hours.
While the administration leaves no stone unturned in removing encroachments from roads, this has not been applied to liquor traders, it was alleged.
According to government norms, there should be no construction within three feet of the municipality road. But this has been violated in this case as the upstairs of the shop has been constructed on the road. This has raised questions on the efficiency of the administration.
When contacted over the issue, excise superintendent Rajat Kumar Praharaj said as such there is no law over opening of liquor outlets. They can be opened at any location, he added.