77 liquor outlets open in Kerala

At least 77 liquor outlets in three star and above classified hotels were opened on Sunday after Kerala government renewed their licenses as part of its new liquor policy, with tipplers making a beeline to the bars.

The CPI(M)-led LDF government had last month unveiled its new liquor policy by deciding to open closed bar outlets in three star and above category besides permitting serving of toddy in these hotels from July one.

As the bars opened their doors at 11 am, heavy rush was seen in various outlets, with the early visitors not hiding their glee at the government’s decision.

“We are happy that the bars have opened. We can quench our thirst after a hard day’s work without fearing police”, said an early visitor to a bar in the state capital.

In Kollam, tipplers welcomed the opening of bars by bursting crackers.

The LDF government had decided to renew the bar licenses of bars of three star and above category, which were open until Mar 31, 2014, when the previous Congress led UDF government decided to allow only bars in five star category hotels.

The bars also have to follow the 500 metre stipulation from state and national highways as laid by the Supreme Court.

Government has also renewed the licenses of 2112 toddy shops.

While the maximum number of 20 bars were opened in Ernakulam district, in Thiruvananthapuram 11 bars opened while in Thrissur nine opened.

The bars will remain open from 11 am to 11 pm.