THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Tipplers in the state have to wait for at least a week for buying booze as the state government’s plan to sell liquor through an virtual queue system is likely to be delayed. Reason: The short-listed Kochi-based start-up, ‘Faircode Technologies Private Ltd’, received the complete data of Bevco, Consumerfed outlets and bar hotels in the state only on Saturday. Hence, only 80 per cent of basic software skeleton has been completed. The entire process will take at least four to five working days, sources said.
G Sparjan Kumar, managing director, Bevco, told TNIE that only 80 per cent of the development of the software has been completed and it will take some time for testing and uploading in Google Play Store. “The queue system is still under development. We can’t reveal the opening date of liquor outlets. However, it will take at least four days for completing the development, including testing. After that, a decision has to be taken at the government level on the opening date,” he said.
Earlier, Excise Minister T P Ramakrishnan had said liquor outlets would be opened after developing the software. Accordingly, Bevco authorities had approached Kerala Start-up Mission for selecting a start-up for developing the software. Therefore, among many applications, Faircode Technologies was selected on Thursday and an agreement was made on Friday. The company was selected based on the completion of the development of basic software architecture. However, the challenge before the start-up is the testing process.
According to Saji Gopinath, chief executive officer, Kerala Start-up Mission, the start-up was selected only after checking that they had at least completed the basic architecture of the software. “As per my knowledge, the start-up has to do data compilation and other works which need to be infused in the software. Hopefully, they can complete the entire works at the earliest,” he said. Vishnu N G K, chief executive officer, Faircode Technologies, also echoed the opinion of Sparjan. “The software is almost ready. The load testing is also progressing.
But the state government is yet to issue an order on selling liquor through bar hotels. So, we will wait till then so that we can add the list of bar hotels too. Hopefully, the software can be live within three to four days as it is the government discretion. A total of 21 developers are in this particular project,” he said.
At present, 598 bar hotels and 357 beer and wine parlours are functioning in the state. The state has 265 Bevco outlets and 36 Consumerfed outlets. As per the government decision, there would be a special retail counter at bars to sell liquor at Bevco prices. All safety measures would be taken at outlets and the counters. However, clubs having liquor licence are not allowed to open. Arrangements were made for introducing online booking, but payments should be made at the respective counters.