BELAGAVI: Residents of Sural, a scenic place in Western Ghats which has been attracting a large number of tourists these days, have passed a resolution demanding closure of all the 13 bars or liquor outlets operating in and around their place owing to nuisance caused by customers, mostly tourists. The place is also known for locally made liquor called Hurrakh, popular in Goa and Belagavi region. The residents of Sural located in Goa on the border of Karnataka have submitted a memorandum to Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The nature’s beauty at Sural tucked in Western Ghats has been attracting tourists during monsoon. For the people fond of liquor and nature, their visit to Sural means a bonus - booze at affordable prices. Not only because of Hurrakh which is a popular traditional drink of Goa, but also the availability of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) at more than 50 per cent lower prices than in Karnataka and Maharashtra has been attracting a huge number of tourists to the place.
Hordes of tourists from Maharashtra and Karnataka visit Sural during weekends. As a result, the liquor business grew at Sural and so did problems. Today, it has become of common to see drunk tourists dancing semi-nude, blocking roads and indulging in eve-teasing. Sometimes they fight with each other or with local villagers. A few unnatural deaths too have been reported in the area over the last few years.
Apart from it, youths in intoxicated state are commonly seen speeding their four-wheelers and two-wheelers, especially on Sural-Belagavi road. Several major and minor accidents are reported on the road, which is smooth but narrow, making it dangerous. The villagers of Sural, during a recent meeting raised concerns over tourists and rowdy elements harassing the womenfolk, which they said, should be dealt with strictly by the authorities. They said the authorities should immediately deploy police to act against those creating nuisance.
However, several residents of Sural as well as surrounding hamlets, which are located either in Karnataka and Goa, will be unemployed if Goa government bans liquor sale at Sural. Worries of unemployment have gripped those people after the villagers of Sural passed the resolution.