Bhubaneswar, 31/12: Bars and liquor shops will remain open till 1 am tonight and tomorrow night in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack as well as Puri in view of the New Year celebrations. The state government has taken decision to this effect. However, the Opposition political parties and the anti-liquor lobby have opposed the decision.
On the other hand, commissionerate police has geared up to enforce restrictions on the drunken driving during the Zero Night celebration. Six police control room (PCR) vans are being deployed in the city.
The state government has written to the Excise department to permit the bars and liquor shops till 1 am today and tomorrow night.
But this contradicts the move of the commissionerate police to initiate action against drunken driving in the name of Zero Night celebrations. Police has contemplated to take action against those, who will drive in drunken condition in the dead of night. Police will collect fine in case of drunken driving and if necessary, will cancel license in such cases. Six PCR vans are ready for the purpose.
The Opposition political parties and anti-liquor lobbyists are not accepting the “ double standard” of the government. On the one hand, the government is encouraging liquor promotion and on the other it is taking action against drunken driving, they point out.