Consumption of alcohol on the rise in Kashmir Valley

Srinagar: Consumption of alcohol has started picking up in the Valley. Liquor shops and cinemas that were closed down by various militant groups here two decades ago are back in business.

As per Excise department, about 2150 bottles of beer and 1323 bottles of IMFL (Indian-made foreign liquor) were consumed in Kashmir Golf Club here during the last financial year, 2009-10. The number has shown a rise from 1078 bottles of beer and 1148 bottles of IMFL consumed in the same club during 2008-09 and 763 bottles of beer and 998 bottles of IMFL during 2007-08.

A wine shop in Srinagar

The data further shows 1510 bottles of beer and 1490 bottles of IMFL consumed in Amar Singh Club during 2009-10, 682 bottles of beer and 1593 bottles of IMFL during 2008-09, 681 bottles of beer and 1267 bottles of IMFL during 2007-08. In the Royal Spring Golf Club, 350 bottles of beer and 109 bottles of IMFL were consumed during 2009-10 as compared to 1411 bottles of beer and 966 bottles of IMFL in 2008-09 and 2336 bottles of beer and 107 bottles of IMFL during 2007-08.

Many health experts and psychiatrists believe easy availability of liquor could create a problem with alcoholism in a society where many people have been traumatized by a long-standing conflict.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 April 2011 on page no. 15

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