Liquor just 500 meters away

Disclaimer: It is customary to start with the disclaimer. It is important. I like doing it this way. Back to the topic: disclaimer was important because this article is on liquor and I am a teetotaller (daru nahin Peeta, just in case the word is too big for your intelligence level).

India is my country, all Indians are my brothers and sisters, I love my country; sorry digressing again. India is one of the most populated countries in the world with many many people to talk to, tease and fight with. 33 lakh deaths are reported in 2012 caused due to alcohol (not road deaths due to alcohol, that number is very very small).

A WHOOPING 6.4%  (6755 deaths) of total road accidents are caused due to alcohol consumption (Ministry of Road Transport and Highway studies 2015). 17.2% are caused due to overloaded vehicles. So nobody bothered about the overloaded vehicles and decided to file a petition for banning alcohol close to highways (another fact that more than 50% of the accidents do no happen on National or State highways: same source as above). Gujarat ranks no. 8 in all road accidents across the country (dry state).

Another disclaimer: please do not start inferring that I support drunk driving. Refer disclaimer 1.

So the petition led to the entire govt machinery start working towards banning sale of alcohol close to National and state highways.  I agree that those 4.2% accidents can be avoided with such a step but what is the larger implications.

HRAI has estimated a total loss of INR 2 lakh crores in revenue and close to 10 lakh jobs. This could clearly lead to unemployment related deaths due to lack of food, crime going up etc.

Banning has become a popular culture in India and surprised to see that the highest court in India has also resorted to this without thinking of the larger picture. Its about 6755 deaths due to drunk driving vs 10 lakhs jobs impacting 50 lakhs lives (5 being avg. family size in India). The math is clear.

I started off by putting a funny twist to the article but it went on to be a serious one and so be it.

There are bigger things to be fixed like better roads, better governance in regularizing vehicles, preventing overloading, better implementation of policies by the govt. machinery.

I am sure, following the order, all emphasis will be on closing down bars and restaurants thus everyone losing previous time and money. On the contrary, the INR 2 lakh crores could be channelised towards road safety, ambulances etc and I am sure, spending that much money could save at least 10000 lives on the road.

Food for thought.

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