Amid a liquor ban in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called for a fresh survey to study the impact of prohibition on Sunday. The ban was imposed in the state more than seven years ago. Kumar made a remark to the effect at a government function organised on the occasion of ‘Nashamukti Diwas’ (Deaddiction Day), celebrated on this date every year when government officials and other public figures take the pledge to carry forward the state’s fight against intoxicants.
Kumar, the state’s longest-serving CM, recalled his early experiences that led to his abhorrence for alcohol. “The place where I had spent my childhood was free from the vice. When I came to Patna to pursue an engineering degree, the rented accommodation where I stayed had people in the neighbourhood who drank and created nuisance,” said the septuagenarian politician. He recounted the state’s short-lived tryst with prohibition under the rule of his mentor Karpoori Thakur who became the chief minister in the 1970s, as the leader of the Janata Party.
“But the government did not last for more than two years and the ban on liquor was scrapped by the subsequent regime. We took the step in April, 2016, despite stiff opposition from many high and mighty. A survey conducted in 2018 showed the positive results,” said Kumar. “As per the survey, the loss in revenue was more than offset by the money people were saving and spending on improving their economic condition and ensuring better education for their children. Besides, there are studies by the World Health Organisation which enlist harmful effects of alcohol consumption, including fatal road accidents,” said Kumar.
“I would urge the people here to consider a fresh survey which would give a fresh estimate of the impact of prohibition. Based on the findings, we would introduce fresh measures. But I must make it clear that prohibition is there to stay, for as long as I am in charge,” asserted Kumar.
(the above news was originally posted on India TV news)