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Booze Circuit: How Bihar’s Tipplers Beat Prohibition This Year


First published: January 1, 2017, 6:06 PM IST | Updated: 1 mins ago

Bottles of foreign wines and spirits on shelves at a liquor shop. (File Photo/AFP) Representative image)

Post liquor prohibition in Bihar, its neighbour Jharkhand witnessed a huge inflow of people from the state to celebrate the New Year.

These people had booked their hotels on Bihar-Jharkhand border well in advance, as a result of which the liquor shop owners expected good business this year.

Deoghar, a district located near Bihar-Jharkhand border, witnessed a steep rise in the sale of liquor since the announcement of prohibition in April 2016.

Kalu, a Deoghar shopkeeper said, “People from Bihar had started coming to the district and the shop owners had stocked liquor so that the New Year celebrations do not suffer.”

“More than half of the rooms in a 35-40 room hotel had been booked by people from Bihar,” Satyanarayan, a local hotel manager said.

He further stated that due to a huge influx of the people, the hotels had even increased the room charges.

Sahebganj was another Jharkhand district for people from Bihar to celebrate the New Year. Apart from Jharkhand, residents from Bihar also turned towards West Bengal — where liquor is widely available — for the New Year festivities.

Bihar shares border with West Bengal at North Dinajpur district. The North Dinajpur district’s Karandighi Block, Dalkhola in West Bengal is just 5 km from Bihar’s Balrampur. West Bengal also shares border with Bihar’s Balrampur, Kishanganj and Barotiya.

According to reports, people from Bihar have easy access to Nepal through Galgalia, which is situated near Bengal-Bihar border and the East-West highway close to Panitanki in Siliguri is also used by people to enter Bihar.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s decision to ban liquor in the state prompted people to venture into Siliguri in West Bengal and Nepal as well. No advance bookings were made by anybody from Bihar in Siliguri though, Party organisers said.