Kolkata bans dry day bans at tourist spots

KOLKATA
It’s time for tourists – especially the tippling variety – to get spirited. The Mamata Banerjee government has just addressed an issue that has long been nursed as a secret grudge. It is working on a proposal to do away with dry days at tourist spots.

State tourism minister Krishnendu Chowdhury announced the plans at Writers’ Buildings on Tuesday. “It makes no sense to clamp the alcohol prohibitory orders on places like Darjeeling, Digha, Dooars and Sundarbans which we are trying to hardsell to foreign tourists. All these travellers, domestic and overseas, are inevitably disappointed when they have to go through a dry day in luxury hotel they have come to relax and enjoy,” said Chowdhury. All these places depend on tourism for revenue.

For long it has been a matter of debate as to how happy are tourists on the birthday of the Father of the Nation, when the country has deemed that no one has the right to consume alcohol. Or during a range of other occasions like R-Day or I-day?

The tourism minister doesn’t buy the logic of keeping people sober on such days. “Like all bans, whether social or those imposed by the state, dry days, too, don’t work. What it does is encourage sales of illicit liquor which dig deeper holes into the state exchequer. For every law that is broken there is also a policeman being bribed. It’s time to take a hard look at dry days. The only thing is achieves is give a cash-stressed state like ours a leave from liquor-generated revenue,” he said.

Read the full report here, Times of India

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