NEW DELHI: As large crowds thronged liquor stores for third consecutive day, the cash strapped Delhi government is exploring possibilities to home-deliver favourite brands of consumers.
Delhi chief secretary Vijay Dev had directed excise commissioner Ravi Dhawan to prepare a detailed proposal for home delivery of liquor to avoid crowding at shops, officials said.
The final decision will be taken by the minister in charge of the excise department, said one of the officials.
According to the officials, home delivery of liquor in urban areas will not be difficult but the government may face some difficulties in a rural region and unauthorised colonies, where liquor vends conforming to the Centre’s guidelines are less in number.
After complaints of chaos at liquor stores across the city, the excise department has asked four government agencies – authorised for liquor retail — to start a token system to minimise queues and to maintain social distancing.
On Monday, the government opened about 150 liquor stores but decided to allow only 80 stores to operate later after it found crowds unmanageable Referring to violation of social distancing norms, an order issued by special commissioner (excise) Sandeep Mishra said drastic measures are required to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“… all four corporations (agencies) are once again requested to take all possible measures including issuance of coupons/tokens, proper barricading,
allowing multiple queues, making, deployment of adequate number of marshals etc for strict compliance of social distancing norms in coordination with Delhi police and local administration,” the order says.
Though the Delhi government is levying special corona fee, inflated prices have not deterred consumers. On Monday, liquor worth about Rs 4 crore was sold.
The sale, on Tuesday, was about Rs 4.5 crore. By Wednesday afternoon, liquor sale had already crossed Rs 3.5 crore.