The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to grant new liquor licenses and build more bars in the state in a bid to tackle its fund crunch that it is presently going through.
According to a report in the Times of India, the number of bars in the state will go up to 1,100 from the existing 780 as the state government has decided to take the 2011 census as the criteria for granting new licences. A bar will be sanctioned for every 30,000 people.
The new guidelines for bars and licenses have been cleared by the Andhra Pradesh government will come into force from January 1, 2016.
The new rules include that the bar should have a minimum space of 200 sq metres, out of which at least 100 sq metres should be covered by a roof, and another 15 sq ft should be allotted for the kitchen.
A team of officials will also inspect and take photographs of the proposed shop or location for a pre-clearance.
The department also hopes that this would cut down 'recommendations' to grant licenses as many criteria must now be met before the license can be granted.
"A pre-clearance by the field team has been made mandatory to remove the discretionary powers and make everyone accountable," excise and prohibition commissioner Mukesh Kumar Meena told TOI.
This move comes days after the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had faced flak after six people died and 15 others were critical, after they consumed alcohol that had allegedly been mixed with cheap illicit liquor at the bar of a reputed hotel on the outskirts of Vijayawada before heading out to work.
This was followed by a series of raids by the excise department and even promises of total prohibition by the opposition party.