New Delhi: Keeping its promise, the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government has decided to take control of the liquor sale in the state from October 1, Tuesday. The state government will take over 3,500 liquor shops from next month, as a first major step towards imposing prohibition in the state. Earlier this month, the state had already taken over 475 liquor shops under Andhra Pradesh State Beverages Corporation Limited (APSBCL). Also Read - Jagan Mohan Reddy Seeks Exemption From Court Appearance in Disproportionate Assets Cases

Speaking to reporters, Deputy Chief Minister and Excise Minister Naryanaswamy confirmed that government-owned APSBCL will take over the liquor business from next month. “So far, 3,448 shops have been taken for lease. These shops will remain open from 10 AM to 9 PM and to run these outlets the government has recruited 3,500 supervisors and 8,033 salesmen. Every shops will have dedicated police officers and CCTV cameras installed”, he stated. Also Read - Jagan Mohan Reddy Calls For Catalysing US-Andhra Economic Ties

Furthermore, the Deputy CM targeted previous N Chandrababu-led TDP government in the state and claimed that they had allowed the functioning of 43,000 belt shops ( illegal outlets of the licensed liquor shops) which were closed down after Jagan assumed the office.  He said till now, 2,872 cases were registered and 2,928 people were taken into custody for operating belt shops. Also Read - Andhra CM Jagan Mohan Reddy Promises Hiked Salaries to Contract Workers, Announces Sops For Govt Employees

He alleged that the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government had treated liquor as a source of revenue. He said every hospital will have a de-addiction centre for those addicted to liquor. “We have taken this step as women were facing lot of problems due to liquor. Government will give alternate employment to those who are dependent on liquor shops,” he said.

Notably, Jagan Mohan Reddy during his ‘padyatra’ had promised to ban alcohol in the state in phases and keeping his word, the government is taking over the wine shops.