New Delhi, May 7 : As much as 52 per cent citizens want states to implement a solution for home delivery of liquor in red zones to prevent the spread of COVID-19 due to crowds at liquor vends.
Local Circles conducted a survey to understand from citizens how should the sale of liquor work in red zones in their opinion. The survey received 8,078 responses from various parts of the country. In response, 52 per cent citizens said the administrations should implement a solution for home delivery of liquor in red zones to prevent the spread of COVID-19 due to crowds at liquor vends.
Around 16 per cent said shop opening time should be extended while 23 per cent said police must be deployed to ensure social distancing. 9% were unsure about it.
Local Circles said that in many places across India, queues as long as 1 km were seen in front of liquor shops with anxious tipplers gathered to buy their preferred brand. This has made residents living in these areas worried as people have been standing very close to each other, increasing the chances of the spread of COVID-19 virus.
In a late-night notification on Monday, the Delhi Government through the Delhi Excise (Amendment) Rules 2020, slapped a 70 per cent ï¿½Special Corona Fee’ on top of the MRP on liquor and also said that the unruly crowd might lead to complete sealing of the area.
On Tuesday, despite the increased prices, the queues continued at the liquor shops.
According to Local Circles, each State Government amends their annual excise policy every year. So far, while no state explicitly allows or bans home delivery of liquor, it does not mean that it is allowed in the state.
The Chhattisgarh Government recently permitted online sale of liquor so that crowding at wine shops can be discouraged, with a customer allowed to buy up to 5 litres of liquor at a time and a delivery charge of Rs 120 applicable. Punjab is also seriously considering allowing home delivery of alcohol to prevent crowding. Before the lockdown, there were also many shops in Delhi and Gurgaon who would deliver alcohol in their area.