Liquor shop, tipplers bother Balewadi residents

Residents of Sai Silicon Valley in Balewadi are demanding action against a liquor shop -allegedly a source of nuisance in the area.

Men consuming alcohol on bikes and inside cars right outside the liquor shop is a common sight. The problem worsens on weekends when tipplers stare at women passing by , while a few toss empty bottles across the road. Vehicles of the liquor shop customers parked in front of the society gate make entry and exit from the residential society an uphill task.

Ironically , there is an alcohol de-addiction centre in the same area, besides schools, colleges and girls’ hostels. Signature petition in hand, including those from the educational institutions, the residents have unsuccessfully approached several official departments and even the local corporator.

Mohan Varde, superintend in the state excise de partment and Pune incharge, said, “Some aggrieved residents of the area approached us. The shop has followed all the laid down guidelines and therefore cannot be termed illegal. However, if people in its vicinity feel that it should be moved out, they will have to fulfil an elaborate procedure. For immediate relief, the citizens must approach the nearest police station for some law and order problems.“ Steps have been initiated ake no-objection certifi to make no-objection certificate from nearby residential societies mandatory for opening up of liquor shops in future, Varde said.

The residents of the area alleged that the owner of the shop, which was opened almost five months ago, is using his clout with the builder and local politicians to evade action.

Describing the problems being faced, an IT professio nal living in the residential complex said, “We have been protesting against the shop ever since it was opened. It is a haven for the large labour class population in the area working at multiple construction sites here. For us, it is a security issue because it is difficult to step out after dark.“

Another resident of the area, a chemical engineer working nearby , said, “It is a pathetic sight of men drinking on the road, throwing bottles around and openly using abusive language. We wonder who has given the permission for it in a hub of residential societies, schools and colleges.“

Attempting to solve the matter on their own, the residents launched a signature campaign a few weeks ago. They now have the support of not only the adjoining residential society , but also letters from Shri Khanderai Pratishthan and Bharati Vidyapeeth appealing for removal or relocation of the liquor shop.

Another resident of the society said, “We are certain that no enquiries were conducted in the area by the department concerned before issuing the licence to operate the shop. Looking at the littering around, we have already handed over our application to the health department of Pune Municipal Corporation. We urge the department concerned to at least come and see our plight and then move the shop out of here.“

Source : TOI