IMPHAL, July 16 - Manipur Excise department is struggling to deal with the mushrooming of illegal vendors selling India Made Foreign Liqour (IMFL) and local brew due to lack of manpower.
Disclosing this to media on Friday, Commissioner of Excise Dr Shailesh Kumar Chaurasia, said, if the department carries out a raid and catch one vendor, another vendor opens shop or the same person does so after some time. “This makes it very difficult for the Excise department to deal with the mushrooming of illegal vendors selling IMFL and local brew constrained as it is by lack of manpower”, Chaurasia said.
Total prohibition was imposed in Manipur after the United Front Government passed the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act 1991. Promulgation of the Act came following a movement against drug and alcohol abuse and addiction spearheaded by the Meira Paibis.
But despite the attempt of the Excise department to implement the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, Indian Made Foreign Liquor as well as local brew continue to be easily accessible to drinkers in the State with many illegal vendors operating openly in the heart of the Capital city.
Explaining the phenomenon, the Commissioner said there are many reasons for this, namely, the high demand for liquor which leads to the efforts of the Excise department making very little dents in the network supplying liquor.
Dwelling further on the depleting strength of the department, the Commissioner said, “The Excise department is an ageing department.” According to him there are 704 sanctioned posts in the Excise department with 295 posts lying vacant. Every month, 20 to 30 personnel retire from service and there has been no fresh recruitment, informed the Commissioner.