In early January this year, residents of Mallikarjuna Nagar in Hyderabad learnt that a toddy shop, popularly called as Kallu compound in the Telugu states, was going to come up in their locality, on road number 9. They were shocked and wondered how the owners even managed to get permission to set up the shop in a residential locality.
According to the residents, if a toddy shop were to come up in their locality, it would spell disaster. They fear that people from areas would throng the place, and soon, would turn the neighbourhood into a den of unscrupulous elements. Despite multiple representations to officials and meeting the owners, there has been no headway in the matter.
â€śThis locality is home to 1,000 families. Most of the people living here are retired railway employees and the others are IT employees,â€ť said C Vijay Kumar, the joint secretary of the Mallikarjuna Nagar Welfare Association.
Speaking about the concerns, he said, â€śWe are tooth and nail against the toddy shop coming up in our locality. We also submitted a representation to Excise Superintendent Pradeep Rao and Excise Circle Inspector Laxman Singh, requesting them to cancel the permission.â€ť
According to Vijay Kumar, the owners have taken an independent house in the locality on lease and have been waiting for the right opportunity to set up the shop for many months.
In the representation to the officials concerned, the association said that allowing a toddy shop in the residential area would be detrimental to the prevailing peace in the locality.
â€śIn the last several months, we have tried several ways to ensure that the shop doesnâ€™t come up in our locality. We still donâ€™t have an assurance about the same. We are now forced to be always alert and see if there is any activity in the proposed location,â€ť said Vijay Kumar.
According to the association, the Excise Superintendent asked both the parties involved to mutually resolve the matter. However, Circle Inspector Laxman Singh has assured the association that the toddy compound wonâ€™t come up.
After the first representation in January, the association also approached Mynampally Hanumantha Rao, the Malkajgiri MLA, who, in turn, wrote to the officials concerned about the grievances raised by the association. In June, a second representation was submitted to the officials concerned, requesting them to revoke the license of the shop. With no action in sight, the association submitted a third representation on September 15 to the officials.
On September 18, a meeting was held between the association office bearers and the owners of the proposed toddy shop. However, no concrete outcome stemmed from the meeting.
While the uncertainty continues over the proposed toddy shop in the residential locality, residents are worried if the toddy shop would suddenly spring up at the proposed venue. â€śThis has been giving them sleepless nights,â€ť said Vijay Kumar.
Besides, per the guidelines by the Excise Department as well as the Supreme Court, liquor cannot be sold within 100 metres of an educational institution or a place of worship. According to the residents of Mallikarjuna Nagar, there are two churches and a temple in the locality.
While multiple representations have been submitted to the officials, the residents wonder how much more will it take for the officials to stop the owners from setting up the proposed toddy shop.