The economic loss of Bihar from its liquor ban is turning into a windfall for neighbouring Uttar Pradesh. In the border districts of JDU-led state, people are unconcerned and have found a novel way to satiate their thirst – take a train.
Yes, the passenger trains that run between the districts of the neighbouring states are helping those dying to get drunk find their ‘fountain of life’.
Take the example of 55017 Chhapra-Mau passenger train. The Ghaghara River separates the states and the districts. Most of those who board the train from Chhapra or any station before the train enters Uttar Pradesh take a journey of 30-40 kms for liquor.
According to a report, the passengers get down at a station just after the UP border. Near the station is a liquor shop, like is the case almost everywhere in Uttar Pradesh.
At the shop, the passengers take their “sham ki dawa” – as liquor is called in these parts due to most people having it in the evenings – to their fill.
The drinking ceremony goes on till the returning passenger train arrives. By that time, the liquor shop would make a fortune.
But the drunken men do not just leave empty handed – they buy bottles of liquor to carry home.
Being a train chugging between two states known for their lawlessness, it is no surprise that the drunken passengers can board a train and also carry liquor with them.
The ban on sale of liquor may have brought smiles of joy on the faces of many who understand the dark side of alcohol, but as long as there is availability of the drink in an easily accessible vicinity, the ban will not be able to produce its desired outcome.
The solution is to ban alcohol in all states of the country, if governments are indeed looking at an alcohol-free India. But as long as chief ministers of states themselves make poll promises to bring down the price of liquor
, an alcohol free India will remain a pipe dream. Having said that, is it not better to ban country-made liquor instead of a blanket ban on alcohol?