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Surla villagers in Sattari want all bars shut down

village on the edge: Bars located at a roadside in Surla and tourists seen walking along the road. Surla is located extremely close to Goa’s border with Karnataka

ABDULLA KHAN | NT

VALPOI

Alleging that they are being harassed by tourists from Karnataka, who visit their village to buy liquor, residents of Surla village in Sattari taluka have passed a resolution to make the village liquor-free by shutting down all bars in the village.

Surla is located in the village panchayat of Thane on the state’s border with Karnataka.

The decision was taken by the villagers at a mega meeting held in the village temple hall on Sunday. The meeting was attended by nearly 200 villagers, who alleged that tourists from the neighbouring state of Karnataka throng the village both, to enjoy the splendour

of the Western Ghats in the rains

and to buy liquor, which is available at cheaper rates in Goa as compared to Karnataka.

“Many tourists from Karnataka come here in the rainy season to enjoy. But they harass the villagers while they enter the village to buy liquor.  They consume liquor in an uncontrolled manner and create law and order problems,” said a villager at the meeting.

It may be noted that several unnatural deaths have occurred in the forest areas near Surla over the years.

In a signed resolution addressed to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, the residents have listed the repercussions of bar and alcohol vends in their border village and demanded the closure of 13 bars. The villagers alleged that the tourists from Karnataka enter their houses in an inebriated state and misbehave with women. They also claimed that there is no local police patrolling being carried out in their village despite several complaints having been made.

“We want the government to initiate action against such people. We will submit this resolution to the concerned authorities and demand a strict vigil in the village and in the vicinity to avoid any untoward incident,” said deputy sarpanch of the village Suryakant Gaonkar.

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