New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: The lockdown in India has come hard on tipplers with liquor shops across the country remaining shut for several days, and some of them remaining closed even now. However, it seems like the troubles for people longing for booze will soon go away.

E-commerce giant Amazon and Alibaba-backed have secured clearance to home-deliver alcohol in West Bengal, according to a document cited by news agency PTI.

Online grocery platform BigBasket said this will be the company's first foray into the country's liquor delivery segment. The clearance also signals Amazon's entry into the space, likely for the first in India.

State-owned West Bengal State Beverages Corporation Ltd (BevCo) invited the two companies to sign the agreements for empanelment for home delivery after finding them eligible, as per a notice dated June 19.

BevCo, the sole wholesaler of liquor in West Bengal, also invited two Kolkata-based companies -- Senrysa Technologies Pvt Ltd and Golden Goenka Commerce Pvt Ltd for the signing of agreements.

Asked when BigBasket would start operations, its CEO Hari Menon told PTI, "I cannot confirm now how soon we will start, but yes it will be the first for the company."

Amazon did not comment on the approval.

Food ordering platforms Zomato and Swiggy have already started delivering alcohol in West Bengal with Kolkata and Siliguri after getting the required approvals, followed by the signing of agreements.

Retailer Spencer's and HipBar have also joined the fray as the government allowed home delivery of alcohol to reduce footfall at stores amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Another eight lesser-known companies, who expressed interest in alcohol delivery, have been asked by BevCo to demonstrate the capabilities of their platforms in executing online orders.

Jharkhand was the first state in the country to allow home delivery of liquor by online platforms.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta