Bihar is encouraging rural women to make glass bangles from seized liquor bottles in an effort to reduce waste and also provide them livelihood.
The Prohibition Department of the state government has sanctioned ₹1 crore as seed money for setting up bangle manufacturing units with women linked to the rural livelihood programme 'JEEViKA' at the helm.
Large quantities of alcohol are seized every year in the state and the authorities often find it difficult to dispose of the confiscated bottles, said Prohibition and Excise Minister Sunil Kumar.
"Seized liquor bottles are crushed using earthmovers resulting in colossal waste. As a part of this initiative, the department will now provide the crushed bottles as raw materials to JEEViKA workers for manufacturing glass bangles. A group of JEEViKA workers is being trained for making glass bangles by the Rural Development Department," he said.
"A comprehensive feasibility report is being made for its further expansion. Initially, the number of manufacturing units will be limited, but it will be increased in the coming months. It will work like a cottage industry," he added.
A plan is being prepared as to how many manufacturing units will be initially set up, a senior official of the department said.
Rural Development Minister Shrawan Kumar said the JEEViKA scheme, aided by World Bank, aims at poverty alleviation.
"The objective of the scheme is to generate more employment for the poor, especially women, in rural areas. JEEViKA workers are already engaged in the manufacturing of LED tube lights and bulbs, and they are financially self-reliant," he said.
Kumar said his department is working with the Prohibition Department on the bangle manufacturing initiative.
"Officials of the two departments are jointly preparing the comprehensive plan for the initiative. The project will most likely start from Patna," he said.
Bihar banned liquor in April 2016, making storage transportation, sale, consumption and manufacturing a punishable offence.
This year, the state seized more than 13.87 lakh litres of liquor between January and May, according to the police.
A total of 8.15 lakh litres of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) and 5.72 lakh litres of country liquor were recovered and destroyed during the period, while 36,120 cases were registered for the violation of the prohibition.
Most of these liquors were recovered from Patna (1.36 lakh litres), Vaishali (89,944 litres), Samastipur (75,688 litres), Saran (75,294 litres) and Aurangabad (69,327 litres).