ONGOLE: As part of the State government’s plan towards a phased liquor ban, the Excise and Prohibition Department opened 51 out of 56 proposed liquor shops across the district on Monday. Officials said the remaining shops would be opened in a couple of days.
As per the information, Prakasam had a total of 331 liquor shops, whose licences expired in June. The new government, after its formation, permitted them to operate till September. As only 253 traders came forward to renew their licenses, the government decided to take over 56 shops in the district and run them through Andhra Pradesh State Beverages Corporation Ltd. It has also decided to down the shutters of the remaining.
Ten of the newly-opened liquor stores are in Ongole Circle, eight in Kanigiri, seven in Chirala Circle, five each in Giddaluru and Erragondapalem, four each in Kandukuru and Singarayakonda, three each in Podili and Cheemakurthy Circle, two each in Parchuru and Addanki and one each in Darsi, Cumbum and Markapur.
Excise Deputy Commissioner Srimannarayana, Ongole Excise Superintendent G Nageswara Rao and other department staff visited inspected the shops on the day and enquired about the arrangements, public response and sales.
“We are going to implement new sales timings i.e., from 10 am to 9 pm in all the APSBCL-owned shops. But the remaining private shops will follow the present timings i.e., from 10 am to 10 pm.
From October 1, 2019, all (these 56) wine shops will be run by the APSBCL,” G Nageswara Rao, Excise Superintendent, Ongole Circle told TNIE on Tuesday.