There has been big increase in the consumption of liquor in Jammu region, moreso, in the district of Jammu during the recent years.
During the year 2002-03 the State earned the revenue of Rs.117.30 crore. Out of this Rs.111.35 crore were earned from Jammu region including Rs.69.05 crores alone from Jammu district. This earning was just Rs.3.48 crores from six districts of Kashmir Valley and Rs.2.47 crores from Leh district and no such earning from the district of Kargil.
In the year of 2003-04 the earning from consumption of liquor in the State totalled about Rs.127.65 crores. The contribution of Jammu region stood at Rs.120.76 crores including about Rs.75 crores from Jammu district alone. This earning from the Valley of Kashmir totalled about Rs.3.84 crores and that of Leh district was Rs.3.04 crores and nothing from Kargil.
The total excise revenue including that of different kinds of liquor and GSD totalled Rs.202.13 crore during 2002-03. The contribution of Jammu region stood at Rs.171.03 crores whereas the contribution of Kashmir division including Leh Ladakh was just Rs.31.11 crores.
This revenue during 2003-04 was recorded Rs.204.83 crores. Jammu region contributed Rs.176.81 crores and that of Valley and Leh Ladakh was only Rs.28.81 crores.
Again during the year 2004-05 up to January this revenue totalled at Rs.160.59 crores out of which the contribution of Jammu was over Rs.136.16 crores and that of Kashmir division has been recorded only about Rs.24.23 crores.
For the year 2005-06 this excise revenue has been anticipated Rs.205 crores including Rs.115.90 crores from Jammu and only Rs.29.10 crores from Kashmir division inclusive Leh Ladakh.
The official report revealed that during 2002-03 as many as 183.93 lac bottles of various kinds of alcohol were consumed in Jammu region and only 3.25 lacs bottles in Kashmir valley, & 4.13 lacs in Leh district. This consumption gallopped to 190.22 lac bottles in Jammu division, 7.25 lac in Kashmir Valley and 4.56 lacs in Leh district. There is no consumption of alcohals in the Muslim dominated district of Kargil.
The Hindu dominated district of Jammu is consuming more than 60 per cent of the total consumption of the entire state. During the year 2002-03 the consumption of various kinds of alcohals in this district was recorded 97 lac bottles of MFL, CIVAL and country liquor in addition to 19.97 lac bottles of beer. In the year of 2003-04 this consumption went up to one crore bottles of IMFL CIVIL/ country liquor and 19.85 lac bottles of beer.
In Jammu areas there is also a big menace of illicit liquor which is evident from the report that the Excise Department/Police destroyed 1.40 lac kg'sof Lehan and seized 1780 bottles during 2002-03. In the year of 2003-04, 1,198 kgs of lehan was destroyed 3300 bottles of illicit liquor seized. During the 2004-05 till January 1.46 lac kgs of lehan was destroyed and 2033 bottles were seized. In these years about 150 working stills of illicit liquors were also seized.
While almost all the liquor shops, bars and government vendors have been closed down in the valley of Kashmir under the pressure of certain elements. It is alleged that in Jammu areas, especially dominated by Hindus more and more liquor shops are being opened under a design where many people are getting alcoholic and addicts.
Significantly most of the liquor shops and distilleries are being run by Congressmen and other politicians as also the king of certain government high ups.
Some leaders of the BJP and some others complain that there is no paucity of alcohol, the drinking water in many areas of this region is getting scar. They also point out that many shops have been located near religious places and educational institutions ignoring all rules and regulations.
Because of the growing menace of alcohol and other narcotics in the region many people are suffering from several diseases, in addition to social evils resulting in crimes.