Tipplers and New Year revellers had a field day in Telangana as liquor worth Rs 380 crore was sold across the state during the last two days, officials said on Wednesday.
Boozers and revellers gulped down liquor worth nearly Rs 200 crore on December 30 and 31 each against average daily sale of Rs 60 crore.
Hyderabad and surrounding districts of Ranga Reddy and Medchal recorded the highest liquor sale in the state, said officials of state excise department.
It was not just the liquor sale figures which saw huge jump. More than 3000 people were booked for drunken driving across the state on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1. A total of 3,148 motorists were issued challans for driving in an inebriated condition.
The cases were detected in special drive taken up by traffic police at 239 places.
Police in Hyderabad and surroundings registered more than 2,000 cases of drunken driving. As many as 951 cases were registered in the limits of Hyderabad police commissionerate while 873 people were booked in Cyberabad commissionerate which covers the information technology hub and outskirts. Rachakonda police commissionerate, which covers parts of Hyderabad and outskirts, recorded 281 violations.
The state government had relaxed the timings for operation of liquor shops and bars for New Year celebrations. They were allowed to sell liquor till 1 am on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1.
The huge jump in liquor sale was despite the recent increase in prices. The government had hiked the liquor prices by 10 per cent ahead of the New Year. The hike, announced two weeks ago, is expected to rake in additional revenues of Rs.300-400 crore to take the overall revenue from liquor to Rs 20,000 crore during the current financial year.
Liquor is one of the biggest sources of revenue for the state. The opposition parties have been critical of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government for unregulated sale of liquor, leading to increase in crimes against women.
Following the brutal gang-rape and murder of a woman veterinarian near Hyderabad in November, the opposition parties had demanded the government to check ‘free flow’ of liquor. D. K. Aruna, a woman leader of the BJP, had undertaken fast to demand prohibition in the state.