By: Opeoluwa Adeniji
A ban on alcohol has been announced in Kerala, a state in India as part of measures to tackle a growing abuse problem in the southern Indian state that is also a popular tourist destination.
The state government warned that alcohol abuse was becoming a danger to society as it unveiled a plan to ban its sale and consumption within 10 years.
“No new licenses to sell alcohol would be granted, while many of the state’s 720 bars and restaurants would not have their licenses renewed,” a statement issued by the state government said. Also, only five-star hotels will be granted licenses next year.
Oommen Chandy, Kerala Chief Minister said, “It is certain that (alcohol) still continues as a social danger and this is having an adverse effect.
“Kerala should get ready to imbibe the essence of (a) total liquor ban in the state.” It has India’s highest annual per-capita alcohol consumption at 8.3 liters.
The country is also one of the country’s biggest tourist draws thanks to its palm-fringed white sandy beaches and tranquil rivers lined with paddy fields.
Tourism officials said they had not been consulted and warned that exempting five-star hotels, ban will be on alcohol and this will affect their industry.
Confederation of Tourism Industry official said, “By this, we are denying the facility of having beer and wine to tourists in hotels with four-star and below category.”
“This will affect domestic and international tourist arrivals and send a wrong message about the destination.”