Delhi commuters face traffic snarls as BJP workers stage 'Chakka jam' against AAP's new excise policy

The new policy, which came into effect in November, is aimed at increasing government revenue, improving the consumer experience at liquor shops and reducing corruption

FP Staff January 03, 2022 12:08:48 IST
Delhi commuters face traffic snarls as BJP workers stage 'Chakka jam' against AAP's new excise policy

BJP’s Chakka Jam in Delhi holds up traffic. Image Courtesy: News18

Delhi BJP workers staged a 'chakka jam' protest against the city government's new excise policy on Monday and blocked roads at different locations in the national capital, including near the Akshardham temple.

Chakka Jam

The protest near the Akshardham temple was led by Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta.

"The Delhi government is opening liquor shops illegally across the city under its new excise policy. Shops are being opened near residential and religious places. Our protest will continue until the new liquor policy is rolled back," Gupta told reporters.

People had to face heavy traffic due to the protest near the Akshardham temple.

A commuter, who was stuck on National Highway 24, said, "There is a heavy traffic jam on NH-24. Most of the roads are blocked by the protesters and it is causing inconvenience to people like us who need to reach office on time."

Asked about the commuters facing trouble due to the protest, Gupta claimed that it is a public movement and that people are ready to bear with it in order to get rid of the new excise policy of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.

Other locations where the 'chakka jam' protest is being conducted include the Car Bazar at Vikas Marg, Dayaram Chowk and Civil Lines.

The protesters raised slogans against the city government and its new excise policy.

They also made repeated announcements that all emergency vehicles should be given way and no harm should be caused to public property.

The contentious excise policy

As per the new excise policy of Delhi, which came into force in November last year, liquor business is now handled completely by private players.

Under the new regime, the city will have 850 swanky liquor vends where people will be able to walk in and choose the brand of their choice as they do in shopping malls.

With the new regime in place, the L-17 licensees, which include independent restaurants or gastro-bars, may serve any Indian or foreign liquor in any area like balcony, terrace, lower area of the restaurant with the condition that the alcohol serving area be screened off from public view.

They can also play live music and have professional performances, bands, DJs, karaoke , singing and dancing at the premises.

As per the new excise policy, classy liquor vends will be set up in 32 zones across the city. One retail licensee will have 27 liquor shops per zone.

The new policy aims at revolutionising the consumer experience by replacing the existing liquor vends in the nooks and corners of the city with posh and stylish liquor stores spread over at least 500 square feet area with walk-in facilities. These shops will be spacious, well lit and air-conditioned.

The policy also allows the opening of five super-premium retail vends having an area of 2,500 square feet. Liquor tasting facilities will also be developed at these super-premium retail vends.

It stipulates that the new liquor stores will have to be equipped with air-conditioning and CCTV cameras. The policy also bars selling liquor through grilled shops with people crowding outside on roads and pavements.

Opposition's reacts

Both the Congress and BJP have slammed AAP for its new excise policy and accused him of prioritising sale of liquor over good governance.

Meanwhile with the civic administration under the BJP, on Sunday it sealed all liquor shops that violate municipal laws in all three municipal corporations.

The current Chakka Jam is in line with the BJP's protests against the new excise policy.

With input from agencies

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