In order to check menace of illicit brewing from lahan, an intensive search operation was carried out by the excise teams at early Tuesday morning in the Bet area in Ludhiana district, where about 2.80 lakh kilograms of unclaimed lahan and 100 litres of illicit liquor was recovered and destroyed on the spot.Disclosing this here today an official spokesperson said that following the directives of Excise & Taxation Minister Harpal Singh Cheema, the Punjab Excise Commissioner Varun Roojam constituted four teams to launch an extensive search operation in Bet area at 5:30 am on Tuesday. He said four teams for checking of illicit brewing from lahan were constituted under Deputy Commissioner (Excise) Patiala Zone Shalin Walia by Dr. Shivani Gupta, Assistant Commissioner (Excise), Ludhiana Range.
The Spokesperson further said that search was conducted in the areas/villages on the banks of Satluj river namely Talwani Nabad, Gorsia near Barundi, Bholewal Jadid, Rajapur, Khera Bet, Mazzara Kalan, Hakam Rai Bet, Sherewal, Baghian and Village Bahadur Ke. This operation to check the distillation of illicit liquor spanned in the area of about 40 kms in which this combed and search operation carried out, he added.
As many as 60 members of search teams led by Excise Officers of Ludhiana consisting of the Excise Inspectors and the Excise Police Staff carried out an extensive search. During this action, a shocking fact was also come to fore that in order to distill this illicit liquor from lahan, the water used was the one which came from the sewage of the various industrial units of Ludhiana.
On seeing excise teams, the people involved in this distillation ran away leaving behind 30 working stills, 6 quintals of wood, 15 iron drums, two aluminium vessels, plastic pipes and 12 bags of gur (jaggery).During this operation Excise Staff from District Jalandhar was also called at other end of the river for combing operations, said the Spokesperson adding that these operations would act as deterrent for the people involved in the illicit distillation of liquor from lahan in the Mand areas and the areas along the banks of the rivers of Punjab.Pertinently, the water being used for this purpose is full of the chemical waste and toxins releases from the aforesaid industrial units. So, one can well imagine the kind of risk such illicit liquor would pose to the population drinking it.
The Illicit brewing of liquor from Lahan has become a big challenge in areas along the river beds/border areas which is not only having adverse impact on the sale of country liquor in the State, thus causing the loss to the State’s exchequer and also there an impending threat of hooch tragedies. In an affirm resolve to end the menace of all kinds of illegal and illicit activities in the State of Punjab and in order to boost the revenue of the State, the Excise and Taxation Department has launched an extensive drive against this malpractice.