New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Centre’s nod to open liquor shops with “certain conditions” from Monday saw people lining up in large numbers outside outlets across the country. The scenes were similar across several states as alcohol lovers thronged their destination after a wait of 42 days.

In the national capital, the police ordered closure of wine shops in East Delhi, Northeast Delhi, Shahdara and Southwest districts as people violated the social distancing norms, hours after they opened. In Kashmere Gate and Narela, police had to resort to lathicharge as people refused to people refused to follow social distancing norms and were seen standing very close to each other in the long queues. 

In Delhi, about 150 government-run liquor shops have been allowed to open from 9 am to 6.30 pm in accordance with the latest lockdown relaxations given by the MHA.

Large number of people lined up outside outlets in areas like Burari, Laxmi Nagar, Mayur Vihar, Gandhi Vihar, Rohini, Janakpuri and Daryaganj. Police personnel were seen trying to manage the crowd outside many outlets where more than five people are not allowed at a given time.

In neighboring Haryana, the shops remain shut as the district excise and taxation department has not received any fresh directive from the state government. Like Haryana, Punjab has also not allowed the resumption of sale of alcohol. 

In Uttar Pradesh, where liquor shops have been allowed to open from 10 am to 7 pm, people lined up since early morning to purchase alcohol. According to reports, Ghaziabad administration has refused alcohol shops to open in wake of people thronging in large numbers, posing threat to social distancing norms. 

In Karnataka, booze lovers ushered in the resumption of liquor sales in a spirited fashion in Karnataka thronging stores hours before shutters went up at several places and made no secret of their celebratory mood.

At some places, they flocked liquor shops even before day-break and performed "special prayers" with flowers,
coconuts,incense sticks, camphor and crackers in front of the stores.

Large crowds gathered outside liquor shops across Maharashtra’s Pune city - one of the Covid-19 ‘red’ zones in the state. Mumbai and Pune are under the red zone but the state government notification said standalone liquor shops and those selling non-essential items would be allowed.

The order to reopen liquor shops is applicable to only standalone shops and malls or shopping complexes will continue to remain closed. Besides liquor, the Centre has also allowed tobacco shops to resume operations in all districts. 

As per the new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), liquor shops and paan shops will be allowed to function in green and orange zones as well as to those located outside hotspots or containment areas even in the red zones, but with certain conditions. The shops will be allowed to open while making sure that six feet of distancing is maintained from each other and not more than five persons are present at one time.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta