Maharashtra district set to go ‘dry’ from April 1, bar workers fear losing jobs
Chandrapur liquor ban, renders bar workers fearful of losing jobs. (Source: Express archive)
With Maharashtra’s Chandrapur set to become a ‘dry’ district from April 1, the local wine and bar workers are concerned over the ban rendering them jobless. There are about 533 establishments in the district where liquor is sold and served.
The nearly 10,000 workers employed as waiters, cooks and cleaners with these bars, restaurants and liquor shops will be jobless once this decision comes into effect from next week, Chandrapur district wine and bar association president Parvinder Singh Bhatia said on Thursday. These workers have no other skills and as a result, from next month onwards they will be out of job, he said.
Meanwhile, police refuted claims of the wife of a 32-year-old ‘paan’ stall owner, that he allegedly committed suicide yesterday apprehending closure of his business since his outlet was located next to a liquor shop. Nimish Amte yesterday hanged himself at his home in Nagina Baugh locality here, following which his wife claimed that he was depressed since some days fearing that his business would come to a halt after the ban on liquor sale in the district. However, Ramnagar police station officer Pramod Giri said they were yet to find any evidence regarding the woman’s claim as no suicide note was found. He said they have registered a case of accidental death as of now.
Following the incident, several workers staged a protest, which was supported by Vidarbha Prahar Kamgar Sanghatana — fighting for rehabilitation of workers associated with liquor business here. The agitating workers were pacified only after the District Collector assured them of forwarding their petition to the state government.
Notably, over 50 women liquor licence holders had earlier urged the Maharashtra government to reconsider its decision to impose a ban on liquor in the district and threatened to immolate themselves if the demand was not met. The state government had in January declared mineral rich Chandrapur in Vidarbha region as ‘dry district’, imposing ban on sale, purchase, production and consumption of liquor.
Chandrapur will be the third district in the state after neighboring Wardha and Gadchiroli, also in east Maharashtra, where liquor prohibition is brought in.
Source:: Indian Express