PM plans clean India, Haryana decides to litter
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiatives at making the nation litter-free could hit an unusual roadblock in the coming days. In his last Maan Ki Baat broadcast, the Prime Minister seemed pleased over the results which the “<g data-gr-id="36">Swachch</g> Bharat Abhiyan” initiative was yielding.
However, the spirit of <g data-gr-id="40">Swachch</g> Bharat doesn’t seem to find resonance in the <g data-gr-id="35">decision making</g> <g data-gr-id="34">process</g> of BJP governments in the states. The revision proposed in Haryana government’s excise policy to ensure <g data-gr-id="32">sale</g> of genuine liquor in the state, would not only add to <g data-gr-id="41">litterbut</g> also compromise on security features. This despite the fact that lack of proper security labels on liquor bottles recently led to <g data-gr-id="31">death</g> of more than 100 persons in BJP-ruled Maharashtra.
According to well-placed sources, the Haryana government is planning to replace the present <g data-gr-id="42">paper based</g> security holograms <g data-gr-id="43">pasted</g> on liquor bottles with polyester-based holograms. “If the change goes through Haryana would have to handle five to seven tons of <g data-gr-id="44">non</g>- bio-degradable plastic pieces of the size 15 mm by 60/75 mm per month,” feared a Haryana government official. “As per our information these labels would be of less than 40 microns, which have been banned by the Supreme Court. Additionally production of these plastic labels would spell disaster for the environment,” added the official.
Government insiders, however, say that there is more to the change of labels than just the environmental issues. “The most modern paper-based <g data-gr-id="39">high security</g> labels were introduced for the first time in the state in 2009. The excise revenue collection for the year 2008-9 stood at a mere Rs 1423.10 crore. Soon after the introduction of paper labels, it shot up next year to Rs 2072.66 crore. <g data-gr-id="37">Currently</g> it stands at Rs 3459.20 crore. There was not a single instance of fake liquor being sold. Thus paper labels did hit at some vested interests,” mentioned another official.
The chances of unscrupulous liquor suppliers and corrupt government officials being in cahoots cannot be ruled out. “Soon after the change of government complaints were received that the paper labels were being duplicated. The complaint could never be verified nor raids at the liquor shops showed <g data-gr-id="28">presence</g> of any bottle with fake paper holograms. However, making this unverified complaint the basis, the government has decided to go for <g data-gr-id="27">change</g> in technology,” added the official.