New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: After a closure of nearly two months due to the nation-wide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, private liquor shops in the Delhi re-opened on Saturday on odd-even basis.

The liquor shops reopened after the Delhi government's excise department on Friday allowed 66 private liquor shops to reopen. According to an official of the excise department only 66 private liquor stores in the national capital have so far complied with the government's order and they have been given permission to reopen.

However, the liquors shops will not open on daily basis instead the department has asked the owners to follow the odd-even rule, the official said. The private liquor shops have been allowed to operate from 9 am to 6.30 pm, he added. 

According to the government’s order, liquor shops will not be allowed to open in malls. There are 389 private liquor shops in Delhi, of which about 150 are located in shopping malls and not allowed to open till May 31 when the fourth phase of lockdown ends. The shops located in containment zones will also remain closed

As many as 239 private liquor shops that are located outside containment zones can be opened on an odd-even basis. The excise department further said that security guards will be stationed outside the shops and will ensure that people are maintaining the social distancing norms

If a private shop is opened on the basis of false information, its license will be cancelled, the department's order further added.

The Delhi government had on May 4 allowed 150 state-run liquor shops to open. However, long queues of people were witnessed outside the liquor shops forcing the government to impose special corona fee of 70 per cent on the MRP of the alcohol purchased.

Of 863 liquor shops in Delhi, 475 are run by four government corporations – Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation, Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation, Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation and Delhi Consumer's Cooperative Wholesale Store – while 389 are owned by private individuals.

Posted By: Talib Khan