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Multi-pronged strategy to combat illicit liquor trade

By Rituraj Borthakur
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GUWAHATI, March 11 - The State excise department has moved a proposal to enact a law to regulate sale, possession and production of molasses and has asked the health department to declare methanol as poison under the Poisons (Possession and Sale) Rules, 2014.

In a string of decisions taken in the wake of the spurious liquor tragedy in Golaghat and Jorhat districts recently, the excise department has also directed tankers carrying spirits of all kinds such as ENA, rectified spirit, impure spirit, denatured spirit, etc., to install e-lock systems and use double seals to be provided by the excise department.

In the order issued by the excise commissioner today, the tankers carrying spirits have been also directed to install GPS systems. Distilleries, breweries and bottling plants have been asked to use flow meters in the tanks and vats used for storage and blending of spirits.

�This has been done to prevent probable pilferage during transit of all kinds of spirits. The directions, which will come into force from April 1, will also ensure that there is no abuse of such spirits pilfered during transportation or at any stage,� Excise Minister�s PRO Sailendra Pandey told The Assam Tribune.

It is suspected that the cause of death of over 150 people in Golaghat and Jorhat districts was due to the presence of methanol � used for industrial purposes � in the locally fermented liquor. In earlier incidents too, the cause of death of the victims was attributed to adulteration of country liquor with methanol and other poisonous substances.

In a letter, the excise department has asked the health and family welfare department to declare methanol as poison under the Poisons (Possession and Sale) Rules, 2014 so that possession and sale of the chemical can be regulated.

In another letter to the Assam legislative department, the excise commissioner said that at present there is no Act or rules for the regulation of sale, possession and production of molasses. �Since molasses is considered as a major ingredient for manufacture of illicit liquor, it is necessary to have an Act in place to control and regulate it,� the letter said, seeking the legislative department�s nod to enact the new law.

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Multi-pronged strategy to combat illicit liquor trade

GUWAHATI, March 11 - The State excise department has moved a proposal to enact a law to regulate sale, possession and production of molasses and has asked the health department to declare methanol as poison under the Poisons (Possession and Sale) Rules, 2014.

In a string of decisions taken in the wake of the spurious liquor tragedy in Golaghat and Jorhat districts recently, the excise department has also directed tankers carrying spirits of all kinds such as ENA, rectified spirit, impure spirit, denatured spirit, etc., to install e-lock systems and use double seals to be provided by the excise department.

In the order issued by the excise commissioner today, the tankers carrying spirits have been also directed to install GPS systems. Distilleries, breweries and bottling plants have been asked to use flow meters in the tanks and vats used for storage and blending of spirits.

�This has been done to prevent probable pilferage during transit of all kinds of spirits. The directions, which will come into force from April 1, will also ensure that there is no abuse of such spirits pilfered during transportation or at any stage,� Excise Minister�s PRO Sailendra Pandey told The Assam Tribune.

It is suspected that the cause of death of over 150 people in Golaghat and Jorhat districts was due to the presence of methanol � used for industrial purposes � in the locally fermented liquor. In earlier incidents too, the cause of death of the victims was attributed to adulteration of country liquor with methanol and other poisonous substances.

In a letter, the excise department has asked the health and family welfare department to declare methanol as poison under the Poisons (Possession and Sale) Rules, 2014 so that possession and sale of the chemical can be regulated.

In another letter to the Assam legislative department, the excise commissioner said that at present there is no Act or rules for the regulation of sale, possession and production of molasses. �Since molasses is considered as a major ingredient for manufacture of illicit liquor, it is necessary to have an Act in place to control and regulate it,� the letter said, seeking the legislative department�s nod to enact the new law.