Did Hyd celebrate ‘clean’ or simply outsmart sleuths?

here’s no doubt that most of Hyderabad was high while welcoming the new year. The question, however, is whether people were high only on alcohol or were they clever enough to outsmart the sleuths deployed for nabbing those indulging in drugs?

Published: 02nd January 2018 02:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd January 2018 07:07 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: There’s no doubt that most of Hyderabad was high while welcoming the new year. The question, however, is whether people were high only on alcohol or were they clever enough to outsmart the sleuths deployed for nabbing those indulging in drugs? Telangana Prohibition and Excise department sources said that the decoy teams did not catch anyone for consuming drugs or narcotics during the new year celebrations at pubs or other party places. However, sleuths have their own apprehensions.

To put a check on consumption of cocaine, MDMA, LSD, or other drugs and narcotic substances over 100 young Excise constables in mufti mixed with the party goers in around 80 places where celebrations were held. The task was to find those consuming drugs and inform 12 action teams about the same.

The sleuths, however, did not come across any such incident. “If anyone did consume drugs, they must have done it in the deeper parts of the pubs,” sources in the department said. The alert teams, which carried kits to perform on-the-spot tests for drugs, picked up samples of water, liquor from people and tested them.“Some people mix MDMA (Ecstacy) in water, liquor and have it. We took a few drops of water from the bottles people were holding and tested it using the kits. But the results were not drug positive,” sources said.

Over 60 per cent drop in accident rate

Hyderabad: The accident rate on the dawn of new year has come down by over 60 per cent in Telangana this year when compared to previous years. While around 700 emergency calls to attend accident victims were received by GVK-EMRI ‘108’ ( Emergency ambulance service) between 12 am and 8 am of January 1, 2017, the number of calls to the emergency help line saw a drastic fall to around 250 between the same time this year.  The Dial 108 call centre employees were asked to work overtime to attend all distress calls on new year’s eve and after dawn of the new year.

Usually, in a day, the call centre receives 30,000 to 40,000 calls on an average. But on the eve they receive up to 60,000 calls (additional 20,000).  While the ‘108’ management anticipated the same work burden this year too, they received up to 12,000 calls. Also, most of the accident cases that the ambulance drivers and Emergency Management Technicians attended (EMT) were related to minor accidents. “There were no serious accidents. The distress calls we received were from people who fell from their motorcycles and suffered minor fractures or injuries,” said P Brahmananda Rao, chief operating officer (COO), GVK-EMRI ‘108’.

Liquor worth `3 crore sold on new year eve
It is estimated that liquor worth `3 crore was sold on new year eve. The sale of liquor in Telangana has gone up by `200 crores in December-2017 as against in 2016. Telangana Prohibition and Excise department officials said that while around `1,300 crore worth liquor was sold  in December of 2016, it increased to `1,500 crore in December -2017.  

However, Telangana Wine Dealers association president D Venkateshwara Rao said that the sales might dip on the day after the celebrations. “Around `2.5 lakh to `3 lakh worth liquor is sold at a store in the city on a daily basis. However, on new year’s eve it increased to `8 lakh on average. Depending on the locality, it might increase to `12 lakh. However, the day after January 1, the sales might dip and not even the daily average  sale would be recorded,” Venkateshwara Rao said.  

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