CHENNAI: A group of around 50 women gathered near the Pattinapakkam bus stand demanding immediate closure of a TASMAC shop adjacent to the bus terminus, on Tuesday.
The women, led by Sea Trust, demanded that the government should either close the liquor shop or shift the bus stand elsewhere. F Agnus, convener of the Trust, said, “We are continuously demanding the removal of the TASMAC shop, but the government is turning a deaf ear to our demand. If the revenue from the shop is more important than the dignity of the women in the locality, let them run the shop here and move the bus stand elsewhere.”
Hundreds of commuters use the Pattinapakkam terminus frequently, but the government-run liquor shop, which is close to the bus stand, causes hindrance to passengers, particularly women, around the area.
Often, tipplers indulge in drunken brawl using filthy language, which embarrasses even men commuters at times, said the protesters.
Punitha, a senior citizen, said, “Apart from the government-operated shop, liquor is sold illegally in many parts of the area after 10 pm. Often, drunkards doze off near the bus stop. Sometimes they are even found dead on the road side.”
“We were told that there are provisions to open a new liquor shop if more than 2,000 people demand so. Though more than 10, 000 people in the area are demanding closure of the shop, the government has refused that,” said Agnus.
The protestors said that though the police department had displayed several boards around the area instructing people not to booze on roads, they were not taking any action against the tipplers who drank on the road side.
Women affiliated to Coastal Women’s Federation and Coastal Dalit People Federation (CDPC) also participated in the protest.