Tuesday August 20, 2019
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Kerala hails Supreme Court nod to its liquor policy

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Thiruvananthapuram:  The Kerala government saluted the Supreme Court’s verdict that not only encouraged the Kerala High Court’s verdict as well as the Oommen Candy government’s liquor policy.

According to the Kerala government’s new liquor policy, only 27 five-star hotels’ bars will be able to serve liquor.

“We are happy that the Supreme Court’s division bench upheld our decision. From now on, we will be going ahead very strongly with our anti-liquor campaign programmes as we want this habit to be removed from our society,” Kerala’s Excise Minister K. Babu told.

In March this year, the Kerala High Court upheld the state’s new liquor policy and dismissed a petition of the Kerala Bar Hotel Owners Association. Following this, the hotel association, led by its president Raj Kumar Unni, approached the apex court against this verdict.

From April 1, only 27 five-star hotels were serving liquor and with Tuesday’s verdict, the status quo would be maintained.

Reacting to the new development, Unni said the government will now decide how and what to do next. “Yes, we will seek legal advice on how to move forward,” said Unni.

Bar owner Elegant Binoy told reporters that the latest verdict is not the end of the world for the bar association.

“What must be noticed is that the liquor policy of the state is an annual exercise and there are just three more months for this policy. From April 1, 2016, there has to be a new policy, so we will wait and see, and before that we also will sit down and discuss what other legal recourse is there before us,” said Binoy.

In August 2014, the Chandy-led Kerala government announced, as part of its new liquor policy, that it was deciding to go in for total prohibition in 10 years and had issued a notice for closure to all the 710 bars, including the 418 ones that had not opened since April 1 that year.

Liquor, however, will be available through 305 retail liquor shops owned by the Kerala government. And, here too, 10 percent of these shops would be closed down every October, the new policy statement announced. By now 78 shops have already downed their shutters.

With assembly polls round the corner, all eyes are on the Left opposition as to what would be its liquor policy, as the apex court on Tuesday pointed out it is the decision of the state government to formulate its own policy.(IANS)(image:blogspot.com)

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Collection Centres Open for Flood-hit Kerala in UAE

New collection centres open in UAE for donations to support the thousands of displaced families

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Several collection centers open across UAE to collect donations and relief fund for Kerala. Pixabay

Indian expats from Kerala in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have opened collection centres for donations to support the thousands of displaced families in their flood-hit state, the media reported on Tuesday.

After one of the worst flooding in its history last year, many parts of Kerala was limping back to normalcy when nature’s fury struck again this year. Heavy rainfall and landslides in northern districts of Wayanad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kasargod and Kannur have so far killed 77 people and pushed thousands to relief camps.

Though far away from the tragedy, Malayalees who form the biggest Indian expat community in the UAE, have set up the centre to collect relief materials for the affected, the Khaleej Times reported.

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From clothes to food items, people across the globe are donating several things along with donations. Pixabay

Taking the lead is the UAE chapter of Voice of Humanity, a group of around 50 stage artists from Kerala. Popular movie artists like Tiny Tom, Nadir Shah and Guinness Pakru are the patrons of the organisation in Kerala.

Shoukky Sulaiman, joint secretary of the group, said three collection centres have been set up in Dubai.

“We are mainly collecting cloths, hygiene items for ladies and kids, toiletries, slippers and some food items like oats and biscuits.

“We will be sending the collected items by cargo, which will be personally received by our members. We are all trying to do whatever we can,” he added.

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Flood-hit Kerala is limping back to normalcy when nature’s fury struck again this year. Pixabay

Bicky Boss, another member, said he was leaving for Kerala on Tuesday to help in the distribution of relief materials.

Also Read: Two of Four Experimental Ebola Drugs Tests in Congo Saving Lives

Abu Dhabi-based expat organisation Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre has also set up a collection centre at the Indian Islamic Centre and residents are urged to donate blankets, mats, bedsheets, toiletries, cleaning materials, milk powder and biscuits among other things.

Many expats have taken to social media to share their contribution to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund and urging others to follow suit. (IANS)