Dehradun Grants 235 Single-Day Liquor Licenses for New Year’s Celebration

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The Dehradun excise department has granted more than 235 temporary one-day liquor licenses for New Year’s celebrations, as per data from TOI. This figure is reported to be the highest number of temporary licenses ever issued in the capital for any occasion. While Dehradun currently has 210 licensed establishments authorized to serve liquor, these will be operational 24 hours on December 31st. The Uttarakhand excise commissioner, HC Semwal, anticipates the number of temporary licenses to exceed 250 or even reach 300 by the end of the day.

These licenses, which are applied for online, have seen a surge due to stringent monitoring and penalties imposed by the excise department. Many of these licenses have been sought by cafes and small establishments in Rishikesh and Mussoorie, popular tourist destinations that don’t typically serve alcohol.

Owners tend to opt for more affordable licenses despite falling into higher monetary brackets. Temporary licenses cost Rs 2000 for personal home parties, Rs 5000 for banquets, Rs 10,000 for clubs and restaurants, and Rs 20,000 for large resorts. The excise department has observed discrepancies where large proprietors apply for basic licenses instead of the required larger ones. Stringent inspections in the last week have resulted in penalties for several establishments in Dehradun.

To curb issues like license fraud and underage drinking, seven inspection teams have been deployed in the capital until January 1. Penalties for excise fraud range from Rs 5000 to Rs 1 lakh, depending on the severity of the offense. Repeat violations may lead to permanent revocation of licenses, according to officials.