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Aizawl locality bans grapewine
Published on 31 Oct. 2010 11:53 PM IST
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A few days after it has hit the market, Mizoram-made grape wine branded Zawlaidi (or love potion) has been banned in a locality here by a committee comprising of different NGOs and churches.
The joint action committee has served a diktat to a retail vendor in Bawngkawn locality, one of the ten licensed vendors in Aizawl, to move out of the locality if he wanted to continue his business.
''A joint action committee, comprising all NGOs and church denominations in Bawngkawn locality, has unanimously agreed to ban selling of grape wine. ''We have served an order to a lone vendor in our locality to discontinue his business of selling grape wine or move out of the locality,'' a local leader said. In a 'cleanliness drive', the joint action committee has literally cleansed Bawngkawn, which used to be a hub for drug peddlers and bootleggers in the past, of all such social evils.
Since Zawlaidi contains 14 per cent alcohol, it comes as a perfect substitute to liquor which is totally prohibited in the Christian dominated state since the past 13 years, reports UNI.
''The grapewine, with its high alcohol content, would certainly leave a negative impact on the society. So, we have decided to ban the drinks as preventive measures,'' the local leader said.
The Mizoram government in 2007 made an amendment to the Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act, passed in 1997, to enable grape growers in Hnahlan and Champhai in northeastern parts of Mizoram to manufacture wine from their fruits of labour.
Even as the grape growers have heaved a sigh of relief at the governments move, the churches in Mizoram, who were behind the prohibition law, have expressed their resentment on the liberalisation of grape wine.
Hnahlan Grape Growers Society said that it has earned a revenue of Rs 27.82 lakh from selling 20,957 bottles of grapewine to the 14 licensed vendors across the state since October 16. The grape growers are happy as they would soon be able to repay their loan with which they had set up two wineries. In Hnahlan village 80 per cent of the total population of 670 families was engaged in producing grapes and 325 families in Champhai area.

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