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By voting in the Mahagathbandhan comprising Lalu Prasad Yadav's RJD and Nitish Kumar's JD(U), Bihar has - perhaps unwittingly - voted alcohol out of the state. Within days of coming to power, chief minister Nitish Kumar declared that he has not forgotten the promise he had made to the women of the state and declared that alcohol will be banned.
In the first phase, country liquor will be banned in the state and six months after that Indian Made Foreign Liquor will be banned in the state. The phasing out of alcohol will begin on 1 April, 2016, according to this report on The Hindu.
Now what happens to the hundreds of liquor shops in the state? The chief minister said, that they won't stop serving people. Neither will they say bye bye to drinks - only they will serve fluids of the healthy kind. The Telegraph reports that the Bihar CM has proposed that liquor shops be turned into milk parlours.
"He (Nitish) said the move would further strengthen the co-operative movement in the state and added that he expected the liquor shops to do good business once they turned into milk booths as they were strategically located," TT reports.
Kumar said, "I have already asked Comfed to do feasibility examinations and offer milk parlours to tackle the issue of job loss due to the liquor ban."
Comfed is Bihar State Milk Co-operative Federation Ltd.
However, Zee News reported on 18 December that despite the plans to phase liquor out, the Bihar State Beverages Corporation Limited (BSBCL) has invited tenders for IMFL shops in the state.
The report adds, "... tenders were also invited for the installation of CCTV cameras, supply of outsourced security guards and grade-IV staff for the liquor shops, purchase of tables, chairs, shelves, currency counting and fake currency detection machines besides land on lease for godowns to keep the IMFL."
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