ALAPPUZHA: It a time when the health department is striving hard to rein in Covid spread in the state, the heavy rush of people witnessed at Bevco outlets has unnerved health experts.
Social distancing and other Covid restrictions were thrown to wind at the outlets these days.
Though a few policemen have been posted in front of outlets to control crowd, they have become mute spectators.
According to Daniel M K, a social activist, the outlets are turning into major areas of spread and large uncontrolled gatherings were seen across the state in the past few days.
“During evenings, the outlets are turning into war zones as tipplers assemble in large numbers. Various employees and labourers reach the outlets in the evening to buy liquor after their job. The closure time of outlets has been advanced to 7pm and this is also adding to the rush. In the first lockdown period, the state government had introduced an app facility to control rush and it was a big relief. However, the government allowed direct purchase this time, which is creating concerns,” he said.
The outlets are also creating law and order issues in many places.
On Wednesday evening, a man was hacked at Kalavoor Bevco outlet in the district after an altercation when some people tried to penetrate into queue.
Some people, who have criminal background, reached the shop by 6.45pm and tried to enter into the queue illegally to buy liquor.
It led to an altercation and they hacked a youth with sword.
The bar hotels had stopped sale of liquor from June 21 after Bevco increased the warehouse margin. It has also added to the crowding at Bevco outlets.
Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi state general secretary Raju Apsara said that the government’s lackadaisical attitude is evident in allowing crowding of people at liquor outlets.
“They restricted entry of people to hotels, restaurants and other shops alleging spread of Covid. However, they have included liquor outlets and toddy shops as essential goods and allowed consumers at outlets without any restrictions. If a shop owner violates Covid protocol, they are penalised heavily, but there is no law to control people in front of liquor outlets,” he said.
‘Government lapses posing serious threat’
IMA and other health experts’ bodies had issued a strong warning that third wave of Covid is imminent, but government’s lapses are posing a serious threat to society.
Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi says government’s lackadaisical attitude is evident in allowing crowding at liquor outlets.