New Delhi : In Delhi, liquor shops opened since Monday, thousands of people queued up. In some places, police lathi-charged and dispersed the crowd, who were stripping for social distancing. Now in the midst of Corona crisis, the Kejriwal government will levy an additional 70% tax on alcohol from Tuesday. Its orders were issued late at night. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has named this tax as Special Corona Fee. The order said that the police should open shops from 9 am to 6.30 pm.
In the third phase of the lockdown, liquor shops were allowed to open in the Orange and Green zones, but the lockdown was destroyed at these shops. People started queuing since 5 am Monday. Two kilometers of long lines were installed outside many shops. People forgot social distancing for alcohol. In Karnataka, before opening the shops, they were seen offering coconut-incense sticks. Apart from Delhi, the police in Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh had to be strict.
Union Health Minister said- Delhi government should give minimum exemption : Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan says that in view of the current situation, strictness is required in Delhi. To prevent the spread of corona infection, the Delhi government should at least give relaxation in lockdown.
Shops not opened in Mumbai, Pune : Long lines took place outside liquor shops in both cities. People in Mumbai stayed in line for 6 hours but, shops did not open. Shops were closed due to the situation not being cleared by the excise department. A shopkeeper said that the excise department issued a circular on Sunday evening saying that liquor would not be sold. We will not open the shop until the situation is clear.
Andhra Pradesh – Liquor becomes 25% costlier, yet no rush : The Andhra Pradesh government has given liquor exemption from 11 am to 7 pm in Orange and Green Zone areas. People were standing in queues to buy liquor. Before these liquor shops opened in these areas, there were lines up to half a kilometer. Whereas, the government has raised the prices of liquor by 25%. People neither worry about the high heat nor fear of spreading corona infection. In many areas, people are not taking care of social distancing.
Karnataka – Lines started 4 hours before the shops opened : In Karnataka, liquor shops have been allowed to open outside the Containment Zone from 9 am to 7 pm. In many areas, people stood in line from 5 in the morning. Even in front of many shops, customers worshiped by offering flowers, incense sticks and coconut. Some people put their slippers on the line so that even if they have to withdraw from the line, their number remains. The shopkeepers were confused about the time, so some shops could not open at 9 pm.
Puducherry – No decision on opening liquor shops : Factories in Puducherry started functioning on Monday. All shops and restaurants are allowed to open in this union territory from 5 am to 6 pm. However, food can only be packed from the restaurant. No decision has been taken on opening liquor shops here. There are 12 infected in Puducherry. Out of these 6 have been discharged from the hospital after treatment.