Complaints related to public nuisance caused by inebriated people will be addressed through ‘mohalla sabha’ in their areas and the decision made by a majority of residents on the issue would be binding on the government, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today. He made the announcement during a people’s meeting held in Tilak Nagar in west Delhi, saying any complaints seeking closure of liquor shops would be discussed in these sabhas and even the owners would have the opportunity to present their case. “I and (Deputy Chief Minister) Manish (Sisodia) have come here today as outsiders. We want to see how the basic nature of democracy works. A decision that directly affects a group of people, should be made by them only. “If an officer or a minister takes a decision then there are chances of things going awry. There could be pressure on them or they could take a bribe. When decisions are made in closed rooms by those who are not affected by it, things may go wrong,” Kejriwal told the gathering.
Sisodia, who also heads the Excise Department, said, “In a democracy, people take decisons… Liquor per se is not a problem, but conflicts rising out of it, is a problem (‘sharab samasya nahin hai, usse hone wala utpad samasya hai’).” “Many people kill themselves by drinking, but that is another issue,” he said at the meeting. AAP MLA from Tilak Nagar Jarnail Singh claimed, “About 90 per cent of the people who attended the ‘mohalla sabha’ today, were in favour of closure of the liquor shop in the locality where it was held. The owner, who attended the meeting, said it should not be closed.”
Kejriwal, during the sabha, said, “For the first time, I believe, such a meeting has been convened, and this will give direction to the rest of the country too, on dealing with liquor-related nuisance.” “All sides kept their view points… Due to certain activities (eve-teasing, harassment) people are getting affected. The decision taken by you people would be made binding on the government and it will follow, he said. In the future, in all areas, from where complaints related to liquor shops or such nuisance will come, “we have decided that the decision (to address it) will come from the people of that area,” the chief minister said.