Should there be a complete ban on water supply to liquor distilleries and breweries in drought-hit regions of Maharashtra instead of the April 26 High Court order to just curtail it by 60 percent ? The Supreme Court today agreed to take a decision on it.
The Aurangabad bench of Bombay high court had asked state government to curtail water supply to the liquor industry by 60 per cent from May 10, which would be operative till June 27.
A vacation bench of Justice A M Sapre and newly appointed Justice Ashok Bhushan posted the matter for hearing on May 23 after a lawyer mentioned the plea saying that instead of curtailed water supply, there should be no supply of water at all as the entire region is facing acute water shortage.
The bench, which agreed to hear the plea, said that filing petition on the issue is not going to solve the problem.
The counsel further said that people are dying in the region due to the shortage of water supply and there is a limited water stock available.
He said people are being deprived of the drinking water as it is being given to the liquor industries. Earlier, the Bombay High Court had also asked Maharashtra to cut supply to other industrial units in Marathwada by 25 per cent after May 10.
The Aurangabad bench of Bombay high court had also asked the Maharashtra government to cut water supply to distilleries and breweries in Aurangabad by 60% from 10 May.
The court asked the state to also cut supply to other industrial units in Marathwada by 25% after 10 May.
These water cuts will be effective till 27 June, the court said. The HC order came on a petition filed by Aurangabad-based social activists and lawyers.
The Aurangabad divisional commissionerate had earlier cut water supply to distilleries and breweries by 25% and other industries by 20%, following protest by farmers and political parties against water supply to the liquor industry in the region.
The court has extended this and said that water supply to the liquor industry must be cut by 60% and by 25% for other industries.
Aurangabad in Marathwada has 16 distilleries and breweries, including those of global firms like SabMiller and Carlsberg and local brands like Kingfisher and Khajuraho.