Having closed 500 Tasmac shops in line with its stated policy, the Tamil Nadu government is exploring options to shut down an additional 1,000 liquor shops across the state in the next few months. The process of identifying such shops has already begun.
With protests like the vocal one in Foreshore Estate demanding closure of a Tasmac shop located in a residential area gaining momentum, the state government asked officials to compile a list of shops that are located in proximity to educational institutions, temples, hospitals and public places like bus stands and bus terminuses.
Once officials complete the process of identifying shops and a report is sent, the government is likely to announce closure of 1,000 shops in the next couple of months. A formal announcement in this regard is expected during the Budget Session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly, which is expected to convene during this month.
Sources said the shops near these places would be the first to shut down once the top brass receive the report. Since the government is receiving complaints from various quarters about Tasmac shops creating trouble, it is understood that it was decided to close shops located in proximity to public places.
If the government shuts down 1,000 shops in addition to the 500 shops which were closed on June 19, the number of liquor shops in the state would come down to around 5,300.
Chief Minister .J Jayalalithaa had promised staggered prohibition in Tamil Nadu during her campaign for the May 16 Assembly elections and reduced the working hours of Tasmac by two hours on the day she assumed office again on May 23.
Once an additional 1,000 shops are closed, the government is expected to incur heavier losses.