Indian state to ban alcohol to tackle drink problem

A traditionally dressed artist drinks water during a march in Kerala. Credit: Reuters / Rupak De Chowdhuri

The state of Kerala in southern India is introducing booze-free days to tackle excess drinking.

It will mean a ban on bars and shops selling alcohol across the area, which has the country's highest per capita alcohol consumption.

In the short term, the ban will be set on certain days - the local government plans total prohibition in 10 years.

Chief minister Oommen Chandy said: "We have finalised the details of the liquor policy that was recommended last evening by the UDF [United Democratic Front].

"This shows that we have no ulterior motives and making Kerala a dry state is not a political gimmick."