No liquor vend except in Delhi malls in current financial

year: Govt New Delhi, Aug 17 (PTI) No new liquor shop except inmalls, will come up in Delhi in the current financial year andthe mohalla sabhas will be empowered to shut existingneighbourhood vends if there are complaints of "nuisance", theexcise policy, approved by the AAP government today, said. As per the new policy, which does not have any majorchanges, the rates of liquor will remain unchanged. In fact,rates have not been hiked in the last three years. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters theprocess to decide on shifting a shop to another area, withprior approval, will be initiated once 10 per cent voters of amohalla sabha submit a written complaint in this regard. The city has around 380 government-run liquor shops (L6)while 87 are run privately (L7). New licences have not beenissued in the last 10 years. The restrictions will cover L6and L7 shops although L10 licences for shops in malls will begranted. Sisodia, who addressed a press conference Chief MinisterArvind Kejriwal, said that owners and managers of liquor vendswould be acted against, to the extent of cancellation oflicenxes if there are reports of nuisance in the vicinity oftheir stores. "Many people are troubled by liquor vends in theirlocalities as people drink publicly and create nuisance. Womenfeel unsafe to venture out as they feel unsafe in such anenvironment. So we have taken these two decisions," Kejriwalsaid. The decision came amid a campaign by Swaraj Abhiyan, ledby Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, against"proliferation" of liquor vends in the city. It has claimedthat "58" liquor vends have come up in the city since lastFebruary. Sisodia said that once the written complaint comes, ameeting of the mohalla sabha will be called in which quorum(minimum presence required) will have to be 15 per cent of thetotal number of voters of that area including at least 33 percent women. "If two-third members present in a meeting decide to shutdown a shop then it will have to be shifted. But even then,the members of the area where it is to be shifted will have toapprove any such move," he said. The Delhi government approved the formation of 2,972mohalla sabhas in June, describing it as a step towardsstrengthening local governance. PTI BUN/SBRSC

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