HYDERABAD: Election day will coincide with consumption of liquor for many tipplers in Hyderabad, going by the amount of liquor sales on Sunday. Many Hyderabadis have stocked up liquor, as shops would remain shut from Sunday evening to Tuesday evening, ahead of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls.
On Sunday alone, more than double the volume of liquor was purchased, compared to the volume usually sold on a Sunday. Huge crowds were witnessed at many liquor shops. The State Election Commission (SEC), as part of implementation of the Model Code of Conduct, has ordered closure of wine shops for two days from 6 pm on Sunday until 6 pm on December 1. The SEC directed the Telangana excise department to crack down on illegal transportation of liquor.
“Some people have purchased enough liquor to fill the boot of a car,” chuckled a shopkeeper whose shop is located beside Golkonda Wine Mart at Shaikpet, and hence had a good view of visitors to the wine store. Another shopkeeper, whose store is located near a wine shop in Mehdipatnam, said, “Last night, entire cartons were purchased from the shop by a large group of about 40 people, who carried them on bikes and cars.”
“By evening, sales at most shops had reached double the normal volume. Wine shop owners reported that sales of about `7-8 lakh were registered, compared to the average sales of `3.5-4 lakh ,” said the owner of a wine shop. “The practice of purchasing in bulk has especially increased in slums. Although it’s not much when compared to sales in districts during elections,” the shop owner added.
Assistant Excise Superintendent, Enforcement, N Anji Reddy said, “The department is keeping a strict vigil from Sunday night until polling concludes. The control room is working 24x7 and anyone can call us to tip us off about illegal supply of liquor. For two days, our team will be on the field to ensure there is no illegal transportation of liquor.”