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Dry Days For Urban Poll

 Bhubaneswar: The State Government has banned sale, transport and distribution of liquor in the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) from 5 Pm of March 22 to March 26 on account of the General Election of 109 ULBs.

State Excise Commissioner Ashish Kumar Singh has written a letter to all District Collectors in this regard on Tuesday.

The General Elections to 106 Municipalities/NACs and three Municipal Corporations of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Berhampur scheduled to be held on March 24, 2022 from 8 AM to 5 PM and counting of votes and declaration of result shall take place on March 26.

“In view of the above, you are requested to declare ” Dry Day” U/S 26(1) of the Odisha Excise Act, 2008 read with Rule 45(3) of the Odisha Excise Rules, 2017 ensuring closure of licensed premises for retail sale of foreign liquor/IMFL/Country liquor in the aforesaid Urban Local Bodies during the period from 5 PM of March 22 to 26,” Ashish Excise Commissioner Mr.Singh said in the letter.  

This is in tune with Section 135C of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 which provides that no spirituous, fermented or intoxicating liquors or other substances of a like nature shall be sold, given or distributed at a hotel, eating house, tavern, shop or any other place, public or private, within a polling area within the respective ULBs during the period from 5 PM of 22.3.2022 to 26.3.2022, he said.

In that order, the Excise Commissioner said, “No liquor shops, hotels, restaurants, clubs and other establishments selling / serving liquor shall be permitted to sell/serve liquor to anyone whosoever, on the aforesaid days.”

Similarly, Mr.Singh said, non-proprietary clubs, star hotels, restaurants etc. and hotels run by anyone, even if they are issued different categories of licenses for possession and supply of liquor, shall also not be permitted to serve liquor on these days.

The storage of liquor by individuals shall be curtailed during the above period and the restrictions provided in the Excise-law on the storage of liquor in unlicensed premises shall be vigorously enforced, he told the Collectors.

In addition to the above, the Collectors have been instructed to take steps to prohibit clandestine movement of liquor from the areas where the restrictions have not been in-force.

Intensified joint raids by Excise, Police and Forest personnel may be resorted to avert any liquor related issue, he further directed.