Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to set up a Special Enforcement Bureau (liquor and sand) to curb illegal transport and manufacture of liquor and illegal transport of sand in the state.

The bureau will function as an autonomous body and enforce strict measures to prevent the illegal transport of liquor in-between states, said the Andhra Government. The main responsibility of the special enforcement bureau is to prevent smuggling of alcohol, manufacturing of illicit liquor and corruption in sand transportation in the state. Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy directed the officials to amend the rules to set up the autonomous body.

Addressing a review meeting here on Friday, the CM said as the government was taking steps to prohibit alcohol, there are chances of illegal transport of alcohol and the manufacture of illicit liquor in the state.

“During the TD government rule, the enforcement system has not functioned properly and hence, liquor was available even in permit rooms and belt shops existed with no regulations. After the YSRC government came to power, strict action is being taken against consumption of alcohol. The YSRC government also reduced the number of liquor shops by 20 per cent, banned 4,500 permit rooms and 43,000 belt shops. The government has taken another step towards ban of alcohol in the state by setting up Special Enforcement Bureau,” the CM said. .

The price of alcohol has been increased to 75 per cent and another 13 per cent of alcohol shops have been removed, totalling to a reduction of 33 per cent of alcohol shops in AP, he said,

The Chief Minister made it clear that there should no lapses in the functioning of this bureau.

Just like the ACB, vigilance, and intelligence departments, the functioning of the Special Enforcement Bureau (liquor and sand) should also be strengthened.

The Director General of Police would monitor the special enforcement bureau and the commissioner will be appointed as the director of prohibition.

“Assistant Superintendent of Police(ASPs) will work under the Commissioner, Special Enforcement Bureau (Liquor and Sand) in districts and each ASP will have 20-30 people working under him. They would be coordinating with the district SPs. In border districts, where chances for illegal transport of liquor are more, would have IPS cadre officers as in-charges and they also report to the Commissioner, Special Enforcement Bureau,” an official statement from the Andhra Pradesh government said.

In a review meeting with the excise minister, Chief Secretary, DGP, and other top brass three days ago, the Chief Minister instructed the officials to come up with a strategic plan on implementation of ban on liquor.

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