Bonalu festival pushes the sale of liquor to new heights

Author: Mohammed Hussain

Hyderabad: The daily collection of cash through the sale of liquor at 240 bars, 180 wine shops and hundreds of belts shops in the city has crossed Rs 30 crore as against the regular Rs 25 crore sale owing to Bonalu festive season, market sources said.

This the time of the year the revellers consume a little more liquor than the usual times. For these people, the consumption of liquor adds to the zest of celebration.

The festival signifies the sacrifice of goat or sheep and cooking of chicken.  The animals are offered in sacrifice to goddess Kaali.

Devotees from across the city, nearby districts and neighbouring States throng the city to attend mainly three events that are held at temples in Golconda Fort, Shah Ali Banda and Secunderabad.

As the festival has begun women have been presenting floral tributes or Bonalu to Goddesses. The festival is celebrated by families with friends and relations.

The sale of liquor has increased from the beginning of the season about two weeks ago and it would continue for two more weeks, sources said.

Excise Department officials estimate that sales will rise between  Rs 75 and Rs 900 crore during the festival month.

According to an Excise Department official though liquor shops are not allowed to sell liquor in areas where the festival is held the revellers’ throng shops in other areas.

In areas where the festival is organized the sale doubles a couple of days before the Bonalu. Right now the centre of activity is in Shah Ali Banda and Lal Darwaza areas where the sales have been rising with each hour.  The liquor shops which are supposed to be closed are also selling the stuff on the sly.  The buyers know where to get their drink.