GUWAHATI, March 2 - In the wake of the recent hooch tragedy, the Excise Department has moved a proposal to ban import of lali gur (molasses) even as two more Excise officials were placed under suspension for negligence of duty.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, Excise Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said to prevent such incidents from recurring, the government must �impose ban on import of lali gur from outside the State as it is considered to be a major ingredient for preparation of illicit liquor in the State�.
�If the import, storage and sale of lali gur is controlled, the production of chulai can be reduced to a great extent and will help prevent such tragic incidents in future,� the Excise Minister said, requesting the Chief Minister to give necessary directions to concerned departments for imposing the ban.
Meanwhile, the Excise Inspector of Titabor and his assistant has been placed under suspension for negligence of duty. Sources said more officials of the department in Jorhat and Golaghat districts are likely face similar action soon.
PRO to the Excise Minister, Sailendra Pandey told The Assam Tribune that the State Anti-Drugs and Prohibition Council will set up six more de-addiction cum rehabilitation centres in the State, taking the total number of such centres to eight. The two centres, functional since 2000, are in Jorhat and Silchar. The new centres would come up in tea garden areas where there is maximum addiction. The intake capacity of the new centres will be higher and will have facilities for counselling and treatment besides awareness generation.
�The budget of the State Anti-Drugs and Prohibition Council has been increased from Rs 33 lakh to Rs 5 crore. If required, the government will further enhance it. More initiatives are being planned by the council to build up public opinion and general awareness against the harmful effects of alcohol and drugs,� Pandey added.