KOCHI: If all goes well, the first panchayat committee led by Twenty20 in Kizhakkambalam will pass a resolution to shut down the only Kerala State Beverages Corporation outlet here. Twenty20 had earlier begun a protest against the outlet and had declared that it will implement the promise that it made during the elections of declaring the panchayat liquor-free. The campaign by Twenty20 to close the lone liquor outlet in the panchayat was one of the eye-catching ones in the run-up to the just-concluded elections to local self-government institutions.
The declaration to go dry was made during the victory celebrations of Twenty20 in Kizhakkambalam addressed by the chief coordinator of the CSR initiative and managing director of Kitex Garments Sabu Jacob.
The Beverages outlet is situated in a residential plot in a residential area. The building itself is in a dilapidated condition. The Perumbavoor Munsiff Court had ordered the corporation to down the shutters of the outlet. But the corporation has moved the High Court against the verdict. Now with the state government’s new liquor policy in place residents of Kizhakkambalm are hopeful that the Beverages outlet will down its shutters very soon. “The outlet is now operating in a residential area. It is not even a commercial building. We plan to pass a resolution to close down the outlet probably in the first panchayat council meeting itself. The only road-block marring our desire is that the case is now pending before the High Court,” said panchayat president K V Jacob.
He added that total sales through the outlet was `12 lakh per day earlier, but due to the continuous agitations carried out by the residents, here, it has fallen down sharply to `2.5 lakh.
Twenty20 was launched in May 2013 with the express aim of turning the panchayat into a model one for the country.