Saturday, August 30, 2014

Kerala holidaymakers left high and dry as India's wettest state bans alcohol...

When Britons David and Uma Cresswell booked a Christmas holiday in the Indian state of Kerala two years ago, they imagined clean beaches, Ayurvedic massages and the prospect of sipping ice cold martinis and beers while watching traditional bamboo houseboats floating past.

But the resort the couple from Wanstead, east London, visited did not have a licence, so alcohol was officially off the menu.

"The hotel management would sneak warm alcohol into our room with strict orders to only drink it there, which we really did not like doing," said Uma Cresswell. "It really ruined our holiday as you couldn't just walk up to the bar and order drinks."

The Cresswells' experience is set to become the norm in Kerala India's wettest state – where residents drink 8.3 litres of alcohol per person each year, more than twice the national average – is about to go dry.

State leaders are forcing the immediate closure of more than 400 bars, with another 312 losing their licences by March. Retail liquor stores will be phased out gradually. Full story...

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