A few years ago one of my (Indian origin) friends in Melbourne was exploring the idea of exporting Australian wine to India. His idea didn't go very far since the import duty on wine was as much as 300 per cent. So heavily is alcohol regulated in India that large businesses which bribe the bureaucracy and politicians to block competition.
If competition in retail is weak, then competition in alcohol is virtually non-existent.
India has a confused set of policies regarding alcohol. On the one hand we have purists like Gandhi and Anna Hazare who basically want to prohibit its consumption (this group includes the social liberal JP of Loksatta). And on the other hand we have a VAST populace that imbibes alcohol and drugs (marijuana) in various forms across the country – in every village, in every tribe. Except for Haryana and Gujarat there is no State in India (among those that I've visited) where some local domestic kind of alcohol is not brewed and consumed in the villages. [Note: my experience is not statistically representative!]
We must not forget that alcohol (like most things) provides SIGNIFICANT HEALTH BENEFITS (in this case for the heart) when consumed in moderation (up to 5 standard drinks per week – consumed on occasion, not in a binge). The key therefore is moderation, not prohibition.
I don't know what has caused this recent tragedy in West Bengal (I look forward to being enlightened by commentators), but it is clear that life is VERY CHEAP in India. We have harmful policies in every sphere of life, leading to a range of unintended consequences.
We need a pragmatic and sensible approach to "vices". Any attempt to prevent "normal" consumption will invariably lead to illicit production (hence deaths), or smuggling.