VIJAYAWADA: With liquor shops allowed to open from today following relaxations given by the government, people thronged the outlets from morning 8 am itself even as the actual opening time was scheduled at 11 am in Andhra Pradesh.
Liquor shops opened across the State, except in containment areas, with people queuing up in large numbers well before the scheduled opening time leading to chaotic situation at some places.
Police had to step in and bring normalcy at some places while some shops have to be closed down minutes after opening as crowd control proved a difficult task.
As liquor shops remain closed for the past 40 days, people queued up in front of the outlets from morning itself to get a bottle of their favourite brands.
Heavy turnout was witnessed even as the government decided to increase the cost of liquor by 25 percent to discourage people from consuming alcohol.
Though guidelines were issued that only five people should be allowed in queue with six feet distance to maintain social distancing, people did not heed to the directions and came out in large numbers.
In containment areas like Vijayawada city, wine shops remain closed and people flocked to nearby rural areas to buy liquor.
This led to huge rush at the wine shops on the outskirts and a wine shop at Kesarapally in Gannavaram Mandal had to be closed within minutes after its opening as hundreds of people gathered in front of the shops throwing social distancing to wind.
In Vijayawada, anticipating that the wine shops will open, people formed long queues and police had a tough time to disperse the gathering.