The Telangana government announced a lockdown for ten days on Tuesday. The lockdown will be relaxed from 6 am to 10 am daily for all the activities. On Tuesday, scores of tipplers thronged liquor shops and serpentine queues were witnessed outside the wine shops.
The liquor shops at Lakdikapool, Narayanaguda, Banjara Hills, Secunderabad, Chaitanyapuri, Hayathnagar, etc., were overcrowded. The officials of the Excise department are saying that they can't open liquor shops before 10 am in the state according to their rules.
The Association of Liquor and Beer Suppliers urged the Telangana government to look into the possibility of wine shop owners charging a nominal fee to supply liquor at customers' doorstep during the lockdown.
M Kameshwar Rao, the president of the association, submitted a memorandum to the Special Chief Secretary (Revenue) and said that a provision for home delivery may be incorporated for customers who do not want to visit liquor outlets during the pandemic. Doing so, would also restrict crowding at the wine shops.
During the pandemic in 2020, several states have successfully implemented delivery services. The Association also urged the bars be allowed to sell sealed bottles in the same way that wine shops operate. The bars suffered huge losses due to infrastructure and high license costs.
He further added that, "The liquor stores should be open for at least six hours, preferably between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. This would reduce illegal liquor production and distribution, as well as any serious risks associated with drinking spurious or sanitizers, as reported last year."
Working hours for manufacturing and backend operations of Telangana State Beverages Corporation Limited (TSBCL) depots, transport, loading and unloading may be permitted as normal, according to the Association, since they have been already experienced in adhering to safety norms and working with minimal workers. The Association also sought exemption of penalties levied on ground stock before the end of the pandemic.