The National – Thursday, December 30, 2010
By JAMES APA GUMUNO
MT Hagen is turning into a black market for beer as residential areas were given licences to sell alcohol by the provincial liquor licensing board.
Highlands divisional police commander ACP Simon Kauba said on Tuesday that there were too many liquor outlets in the city and that contributed to many social problems.
Kauba said it was against the law to grant a licence to anyone wanting to sell alcohol in a residential area but this was not happening in Mt Hagen.
He said he could not understand why licences were given to anyone wanting to sell alcohol.
He claimed liquor inspectors were not doing their job by inspecting the applicants’ premises and facilities before issuing licences and provincial liquor inspectors did not have time to move around and monitor the liquor outlets and impose their rules and regulations.
Kauba said the liquor board issued licences without realising the sort of problems or impact it would have on the residents.
He said there was no control over the sale of liquor in the city and as a result, the city was becoming like a “black market for alcohol”, adding that to make it worse, the licence holders sold alcohol past 10pm which was beyond normal trading hours.
In other centres, liquor outlets selling beer beyond trading hours had their licenses removed but not in Mt Hagen, he said.
“Many offences committed in the city are alcohol-related and this was a big concern and authorities should take immediate action and address it,” he said.
Kauba said Mt Hagen was a city and there had to be some control over the sale of liquor, adding that the police were willing to assist the liquor board to address this issue.