THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After weeks-long dry days, the liquor outlets, bar hotels and beer and wine parlours in the state will be a beehive of activity from Thursday with the Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) formally starting the commercial sale of liquor adhering to lockdown norms. Excise Minister T P Ramakrishnan said 265 liquor outlets under Bevco, 36 outlets under Consumerfed, 576 bar hotels and 291 beer parlours will sell liquor to the customers from the morning.
The beta version of the BevQ app uploaded on Play Store for trial purpose was downloaded by as many as 20,000 people in just two minutes. The beta release and testing was successful. A statement issued by Faircode Technologies, which developed the app, said all beta release and tokens generated for trial purpose would be made invalid.
The booking can be made from 6am to 10pm while the sale is allowed between 9am to 5pm. Only five customers will be allowed in the outlet at a time. All health protocols will have to be maintained including social distancing and wearing masks in the outlets.
The outlets in containment and red zones will not function. In case tokens are issued but the outlets are closed by district collectors in the light of declaration of a containment zone, the customer will have to reapply for a new token. The corporation would charge 50 paise for each token which include 15 paise for the SMS service.
Delay in uploading app frustrates buyers
Kochi: As soon as the press conference of Excise Minister T P Ramakrishnan got over, people who were eagerly waiting for the launch of BevQ application on Play Store started searching for it. However, much to their disappointment, the app was not available for download. Those who were frustrated at the delay soon took it to the Facebook page of the startup Faircode Technologies Pvt Ltd, which developed the app. Once the app is up, people can download it and book their slots in the virtual queue.
The bookings can be done only between 6am and 10pm. “Hence what is the use in releasing the app, which we were waiting for so long, after 10 pm,” read a message that was posted on the Facebook page of Faircode. Meanwhile, Faircode Technologies representatives said there was no deadline set for the release of the app and it was declared only that the service will be available to the public before Thursday. They also said there was no delay on their part. It is only a normal delay from Google in publishing the app, they said and added that liquor sales will commence as per government’s plans.
Oppn alleges graft in awarding BevQ contract
T’Puram: Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Wednesday reiterated his allegation that the awarding of the work order to develop BevQ to a Kochi-based startup is mired in corruption. He told reporters here that the contract was given to a fellow CPM traveller who owns Fair Code Technologies Pvt Ltd. He claimed the startup had no prior experience in coming up with an app.
Fake app: Hi-tech cell to probe
T’Puram : The Hi-tech crime inquiry cell of state police will probe the complaint filed by Bevco about a fake mobile app uploaded on Play Store for booking liquor to buy from outlets. DGP Loknath Behera said strict action will be taken against those who uploaded the app.