Bhubaneswar: With a view to reinforce the Excise department, the state government has decided to set up 187 Excise stations across Odisha in the first phase.
“We have decided to set up 187 Excise stations to deal only with Excise-related cases. The process to recruit one officer in-charge at each of these police stations has begun, while 219 new constables will be recruited for these Excise stations. Very soon a notification on delegation powers to these Excise stations will be published,” Excise Commissioner Debendra Mohapatra told Orissa POST, Monday.
While some existing infrastructure will be used for this purpose, new infrastructure will be created in future, he said, adding, “If required, houses will be taken on rent for the functioning of these stations.”
These Excise stations will deal only with Excise-related cases. At present, police stations and some Excise stations are dealing with such cases, Mohapatra stated.
The Excise inspector in-charge will also have same powers as the police station IICs and will be empowered to detain; arrest and persecute any persons violating the norms.
However, the delegating same powers to both the police stations and Excise stations may create some conflict at ground-level. As per sources, the government will delegate powers to deal with Excise-related cases to both police stations and the Excise stations.
“We have submitted a proposal in this regard to Home Department. After getting their feedback, we will issue the notification on delegation of powers to the Excise and police stations,” an official from excise department said. If any conflict will arise, it will be resolved in later days, he added.
Meanwhile, the Sxcise department has also decided to close down all authorised bhang shops. “We have decided not to renew the license given for opening of bhang shops as there are allegations that Ganja are being sold at such shops. So, from 2018-19 onwards, license of no bhang shop will be renewed,” the official stated.
About 121 such shops were there, of which 119 have been closed down and others will be closed soon, he pointed out.
The state government has also asked the authorised mahua shops to comply with the orders of National Green Tribunal (NGT), Kolkata, by August 31. Hearing a petition, the NGT had earlier asked the mahua shops of Ganjam to obtain clearances from State Pollution Control Board, State Environment Impact Assessment Authority and National Groundwater Authority. In the same line, shops from other districts have been directed to do the same, he added.