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Booze from tap: Kerala town gets free-flowing alcohol, all thanks to excise department

Residents of Solomon’s Avenue apartment found that some excise department officers had thrown seized liquor into a pit near a well from which they draw water.

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New Delhi: Residents of Solomon’s Avenue apartment in Kerala’s Thrissur district were left shocked Monday morning when water gushing out of taps in their homes was found mixed with a cocktail of beer, brandy and rum.

According to manoramaonline, 18 families residing in the apartment complex checked with one another and found that all of them had the same experience. A complaint was soon filed with the Chalakudy municipal secretary and health department.

The residents also investigated into the matter themselves and found that attempts to destroy seized liquor bottles by some excise department officers had gone “horribly wrong”.

According to the report, the excise department had confiscated around 6,000 litres of liquor about six years ago. After the case proceedings, the local court had given a go-ahead to destroy the liquor.

But disposing the large amount of alcohol proved a challenge. The officers finally decided to dig a pit very close to a well from which the residents drew water and emptied the bottles into it.

The whole exercise, including uncorking the bottles and pouring the liquor into the pit, had taken about six hours.

Over time, however, the alcohol had slowly seeped into the soil and mixed with the water.

In a spot

Deputy excise commissioner T.K. Sanu has been quoted as saying: “These bottles had been seized from bars whose licenses had been cancelled six years ago. We couldn’t have known that our operation would raise such a stink.”

The Manorama report also noted how officials found themselves “in a spot” and were “struggling to come up with an escape route” after a probe was initiated on the issue.

Chalakudy municipality ward councillor V.J. Joji has been quoted saying that alternative water-supply arrangements have been made for the affected families. “These families had been using water from the contaminated well for several years. It was their only water source.”


Also read: Duty-free liquor limit will save $50 mn or 0.01% of India’s total import bill of $500 bn


 

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