After ban by Apex Court, tipplers make beelines at liquor vends in Mayabunder

Report by: 
V SENTHIL KUMAR
RANGAT
27 Apr 2017

Surajit Sarkar, a resident of Kadamtala acquired dubious reputation because of his dependence on alcohol. But things have changed now. Sarkar, a reformed alcoholic, now  returns home before dusk. His domestic life has also improved as he no longer creates a ruckus under the influence of alcohol. Sarkar’s  reformation is not a lone instance, many others in the Middle Andaman region have kicked the habit after the Apex Court imposed complete ban on sale of  liquor within 500 metres of state and national highways from the 1st of this month. But a significant population in the region, who are ardent tipplers, has found a way-out to quench their craving for liquor.
The headquarter region of the North and Middle Andaman, Mayabunder, which narrowly missed the parameters set by the Supreme Court for operation of liquor vends, has registered a surge in the alcohol business since April 1 this year. ANIIDCO’s liquor outlet at Mayabunder bazaar reported spike in profits as thousands of alcohol aficionados from Baratang in Middle Andaman to Diglipur in North Andaman have now developed a habit to travel to Mayabunder to purchase their share of IMFL bottles from the government vend. Massive rush has become the order of the day at other Bar-cum-Restaurants operating in and around Mayabunder region failing within the permissible limits.
“The Apex Court diktat has brought huge relief for many families in the Middle Andaman region. A blanket ban of  liquor vends operating within 500 mtrs of the national and state highways has left to closure of almost all bars and ANIIDCO outlets in Middle Andaman. The quality of  life of the residents here, especially women, took a turn for the better after the ban,” said some residents of Bakultala.
But the decision of the Apex Court has left many alcoholics of the region dry without a high. The after effects of the move are now visible in the region. “As soon as I stopped consuming alcohol after the probation imposed by the government, my body started shivering and I fell ill. But soon I discovered that the ban does not cover Mayabunder in North Andaman. Now I travel to Mayabunder daily along with a friend skipping around half a day’s work to purchase my share of liquor dose. Many others from the Middle Andaman region also travel to Mayabunder to relish time at the bars operating in the region. The number may increase in the days to come," said a resident of Nimbutala speaking to this Correspondent.