New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Despite the government’s attempt to reduce the long queues lined up at the liquor shops across the national capital yesterday, by levying ‘special corona fee’ on Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of liquor, large crowds, were seen in long queues, today also, hustling restlessly to get a bottle of booze from before sunrise, without following social distancing guidelines.

In many places like in Krishna Nagar and Vishwas Nagar, the police resorted to lathi charge today also to control the crowd in the mile-long queues. Many of them were waiting for the liquor stores to open since 4 am in the morning. At some places, like the Gole Market in central Delhi, although the liquor shops were shut, baton-wielding paramilitary personnel were also deployed to keep the crowd at bay.

This comes a day after many liquor shops downed their shutters after crowds turned unruly, showing little care about social distancing.

Late in the night, the Delhi government levied a 70 per cent 'special corona fee' on the sale of liquor. Many people supported the decision to hike the tax on liquor saying only those who can afford it are buying liquor and they are willing to support the government in the COVID-19 crisis by paying this tax.

"Whoever wants to buy liquor will definitely come to purchase. Those who can afford it will buy liquor no matter what. It doesn't make a difference that the government has increased the tax," said a woman, standing in the queue to buy liquor in Mayur Vihar, as reported by news agency ANI.

Another man, standing in the queue, said that he is very happy that liquor is available after over 40 days. "We know that the government has increased the tax on liquor. We will drink once every week instead of every day. What else can we do," he said.

Asked about the government's decision to impose a hefty 'corona fee' to discourage tipplers, a person standing outside a liquor shop in Delhi said, "It will not affect us. People will get liquor from Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad."

But there were many who still could not manage to buy liquor for the second day. "I searched for some shops in Krishna Nagar but there were long queues of around 400-500 people. Here, the shop has not been opened and policemen are sending us back. It's not fair, the government has raised the price so much and still there are problems if one tries to buy it," said Raj Kumar.

In Delhi’s Chander Nagar, a man showered flower petals on people standing in queue outside a liquor shop. "You are the economy of our country, government does not have any money," he told the people.

Amit Kumar, the manager of a liquor shop in Mayur Vihar, said that they are following all the guidelines issued by the government for opening their store and distributing the liquor.

"While the government has increased the tax on liquor. It has had no impact on the number of people lining up outside the shops. People have been standing in queues since before the opening of the shops," Kumar said.

 

(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talib Khan