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Illegal booze agents make a killing, people line up for Neera in Mysuru amid COVID-19 lockdown

Many of the are reaching out to city and town outskirts and villages to get alcohol as it is difficult in the heart of the city following the presence of policemen in a sizeable number of the streets.

Published: 03rd April 2020 12:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd April 2020 12:08 PM   |  A+A-

Liquor, Drinking, Alcohol, Whiskey

Representational Image

Express News Service

MYSURU: While farmers are pushed to misery and daily wagers reduced to penury, booze suppliers are calling the shots as liquor is sold illegally on the outskirts of Mysuru and in villages for two to three times more than the maximum retail price.

Knowing that people are ready to shell out money to meet their demand for a gulp after sunset, the government decision to ban liquor sales till April 14, has turned out to be blessing in disguise to make quick money.

Many of the are reaching out to city and town outskirts and villages to get alcohol as it is difficult in the heart of the city following the presence of policemen in a sizeable number of the streets. The booze agents only cater to known people and come with 90 ml and 180 ml quarter bottles.

The liquor, that is usually sold for Rs 90 a quarter, is being sold at Rs 200 and for double price in few points at the town outskirts. While there is a great demand for beer, agents refuse to provide it as it is difficult to carry.

A buyer said that though they get liquor paying double price, they are hopeful that they may get for a few more days. Refuting to disclose the agent, he said that a greater demand would force them to go dry and also shell out more money.

Few families selling liquor at houses in rural areas have locked and left villages as there was a mad rush for liquor and stock exhausted. Few are evn selling three times more than the MRP in villages knowing that people have no other option.

This is evident in many villages in Mysuru, Mandya and Chamrajnagar districts giving a slip to excise and policemen. Manjanna, a buyer from Hinkal said that the government should open liquor shops for an hour like supermarkets or grocery shops so that it would also bring revenue to the government and also save people buying paying heavy price from agents.

Demand for Neera

To supplement liquor, there is also a growing demand for Neera produced from coconut trees in many places. The Neera, that was sold for Rs 40 a litre, is charged Rs 80 to 100 from farms near Amachawadi, Bandigowdanahalli, BJ Palya and other villages.

Following the demand, it is sold on first cum-first serve basis from 4:30 am to 5:30 am. "We could not get it today (Wednesday) as we were late by half an hour," said a consumer pleading anonymity.

There are also reports that few farmers have stopped selling Neera as there was pressure from the customers from two-three villages that led to tension. When asked about the illegal sale of liquor, the villagers maintained that the that sales is declining as the illegal stock gets exhausted in few days. 

Mysuru SP KLS Murali has said that they have all measures to check illegal sale of liquor and have conducted 157 raids. He warned of severe action if anyone found selling liquor illegal as the government has ordered the closure of liquor shops till April 14.

He told that 13 mobile teams are working around the clock and 40 litres of hooch has been seized and appealed to inform the public on sale, transportation or manufacturing hooch.



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