Kolkata, Dec 30: With hooch claiming over 170 lives in the state, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today walked in a padayatra to create social awareness against the evils of illicit liquor.
“Even as administrative steps like arrests and destroying hooch dens are on, the problem should also be dealt socially,” Banerjee said at the foot of the Gandhi statue here at the end of the rally.
She walked in the procession, participated in by other ministers of the state, intellectuals and people, from College Square in front of the Calcutta University campus to the foot of Gandhi statue, a distance of around three kms.
“Let us live a healthy life and stand up against social degeneration,” Banerjee said.
“It is a personal prerogative as to what one will eat or drink but one should not destroy his life by drinking illicit and unsafe liquor,” the chief minister said.
She said that people should come out to stop the trade and drinking of hooch, known as ‘cholai' in local parlance.
“There are poor people who cannot afford a square meal but will still manage to have a drink,” she said.
She said that this was a social problem and this should be dealt socially along with administrative steps. At least 170 people lost their lives after drinking hooch at Sangrampur under Mograhat police station area in adjoining South 24 Parganas district earlier this month.