THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Desi drink toddy has got the thumbs up in Pinarayi Vijayan government’s new liquor policy.
The policy promises a Toddy Board and toddy sale through star hotels. Special permission will be given to hotels with three-star rating and above to sell pure toddy.
The formation of the Toddy Board is aimed at addressing the livelihood issues faced by toddy tappers and the practical problems faced by them in sourcing good toddy. The liquor policy says steps will be taken to ensure sanitation in toddy shops, their modernisation, promotion of value-added products and job security for staff.
The toddy shops will be auctioned once in three years. Workers’ cooperatives will get priority in the auctions. The shops will be clubbed into clusters of five-seven each and auctioned. In doing so, no more than two such clusters can be sold to any one individual. Shops which fail to find takers will be allotted to tapper/shop worker committees and toddy cooperatives on rental.
The minimum number of trees which are to be tapped per shop - 50 coconut palms, or 100 palmyrah or 25 ‘choondappana’ palms - will not change.
As many as 3,913 toddy shops are functional in the state, in addition to 340 which are under departmental management.