NAGAPATTINAM: Even as the Madras High Court directed the State government to inspect the quality of liquor produced by the 16 distilleries in Tamil Nadu and supplied to TASMAC, the latter has directed its district managers to conduct random inspections. According to a circular, officials have been asked to inspect 42 depots and 250 temporary sub-godowns across the State.
All this while, there have been allegations that adulterated liquor came out of the distilleries. But it has come to light that in places like Mayiladuthurai, Pattukkottai, Thanjavur and Thirupuvanam, depot and godown staff was mixing spirit with alcohol, leading to adulteration. According to senior TASMAC officials, on Saturday, Moorthy, a supervisor of a temporary sub-godown in Thiruvalanchuli near Kumbakonam was arrested for adulterating, following whcih it was decided inspect stock to protect its reputation.
Speaking to Express, a senior TASMAC official said, “When SC ordered closure of liquor outlets near highways, around 2,800 shops in Tamil Nadu had to be shut down. However, 85 per cent of them were reopened and some 4,500 liquor outlets are currently functioning across the State.
In order to store the stock of the closed outlets, 250 temporary sub-godowns were opened apart from the existing 42 depots. As the depots are usually stocked with enough liquor items to ensure supplies of 15 days, there was a space crunch. The management then opened sub-godowns which would supply liquor to 10 to 15 shops. However, this also paved the way for adulteration.”
He added, “Most sub-godowns once functioned as outlets. After SC judgement, around 600 supervisors, deputy supervisors and assistants who worked in shops near highways were posted in depots and sub-godowns. Unfortunately, a few of them are adulterating liquor.”
A senior manager in TASMAC Tiruchy region said, “In Thiruvalanchuli, we identified the supervisor, Moorthy, who used to mix spirit and water into 90 ml brandy bottles. For this, they tied up with TASMAC outlet workers and bar owners to obtain empty bottles and sell the adulterated liquor after 10 pm.”