Highlights

  • I became a fan of Neera, and will offer the healthy drink to guests, says Telangana Industry Minister
  • Neera can become toddy, which contains over 8% alcohol, if temperature rises, alert social activists

Hyderabad: Toddy product ‘Neera’ is gaining momentum as Telangana ministers are endorsing it as a healthy drink. Telangana Industry Minister KT Rama Rao said the TRS government increased pension to toddy tappers from Rs 200 to Rs 2,000 per month.

KTR participated in a meeting organised by Gowda community at Jalavihar in Hyderabad on January 4. Speaking on occasion, KTR said, “I tasted Neera for the first time here, and instantly I became a fan of this healthy drink. I will start offering Neera drink to all my guests.”

Former Telangana Council Chairman Swamy Goud said that about 350 years ago Sarvai Pappanna had demanded the abolition of tax on toddy palm trees. It became a reality as Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao decided to scrap the tax.

Tourism Minister Srinivas Goud said that the previous chief ministers of united Andhra Pradesh had banned the toddy product Neera. “Now, Chief Minister KCR announced a policy on Neera and made our profession a pride of our community. Neera drink can prevent 15 types of diseases. In Hindu puranas, it was called as Surapanam and Gods consumed the drink,” he added.

Meanwhile, Forum for Good Governance (FGG) has requested Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan to intervene in the policy decision on toddy and Neera products. The FGG urged the Governor to get samples of toddy and Neera tested in labs to ascertain alcohol percentage. Padmanabha Reddy, Secretary of FGG, demanded classification of toddy as liquor on the lines of Kerala government.

According to a study, Neera is unfermented palm extract containing no alcohol. However, there is every chance for Neera to become toddy, if the temperature rises marginally, and there is a chance of misusing it. Kerala government had declared toddy as liquor under the Abkari Act, section 3 (10), and classified unfermented Neera as liquor. Toddy contains eight per cent alcohol, which is higher than beer.

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