RAIPUR: While the Chhattisgarh government mulls over steps to gradually enforce liquor prohibition, one of its cabinet ministers has "learnt how to prepare grape-based alcoholic beverages" in France, and will promote grape cultivation here.
State tourism minister Dayal Das Baghel recently visited France along with his deputy and officials on a study tour to explore strategies and understand ways to enhance tourism in Chhattisgarh.
After his return, he shared that he saw how tourism there is promoted with agriculture practice. He revealed that he had seen and learnt the entire process of making liquor from the grape harvest there.
“There is enough scope of grape production in Chhattisgarh and we will now encourage its production”, said Dayal Das Baghel.
The Chhattisgarh assembly during the 2017 budget session had passed an amendment bill to facilitate the creation of a state-owned corporation that enables sale of both foreign and Indian liquor through government outlets.
Interestingly, the tourism department issued a press release following the minister’s visit to European countries like France and Switzerland, and admitted that the natural resource-rich Chhattisgarh did not charm tourists because it has failed to use favourable conditions to its advantage.
“For various reasons, Chhattisgarh state bestowed with extensive natural resources cannot attract potential tourists,” said the statement.
The opposition Congress called Dayal Das Baghel’s vision inconsistent to the state government’s own liquor policy.
“Availability of grape wine is not going to achieve the goal of increasing tourists. Why is the state shying away to aggressively promote its own customs and culture. The good vision, law and order situation and development are enough to win tourists confidence,” said Congress chief spokesperson Ramesh Warlyani.