Representative Pic
Representative Pic
BL Soni

Tipplers queued up to quench the thirst of last one-and-a-half months as liquor shops opened in several districts on Wednesday. Liquor shops in Bhopal, Indore and Ujjain that fall under red zone remained closed.

The hurdle between state government and the liquor traders was resolved on Wednesday. The ACS, state excise department commissioner and members of the liquor association held a second round of meeting and resolved the issues. The state government had ordered the traders to open the shops from May 4 but due to certain difficulties, the shops did not open. From Wednesday, the liquor shops in many districts especially in the green and orange zones started functioning. Liquor sale is prohibited in red zones.

Till Wednesday noon, shops were closed and they opened soon after the talks between government and liquor contractors got over. But long before the shops opened, the tipplers queued up to fetch the booze.

After purchasing bottles, some of them began to dance, an incident that came to light in Mandideep in Raisen district. At many places, the boozers complained about slow distribution. In other place, there were grudges about liquor pricing.

Register buyers’ name: Collector

In Sagar , district collector Preeti Mathil issued orders to register the names and phone numbers of the buyers. But none of them gave the information. The shopkeepers were not interested in it either. Similar incident was reported in other districts of Bundelkhand where the collectors ordered to register buyers’ names and contact numbers. But the orders were widely violated.

Long queues up to a kilometre were seen outside the liquor shops. Earlier, buyers maintained the social distancing but later threw all the norms to wind. The police used the mild cane charge to control the situation.

As per reports, many people purchased maximum quantity of liquor. One can only purchase the four bottles of wine or a dozen beer bottles or two bottles of country made liquor. The shopkeepers have been told by excise department to sell liquor outside a specific limit.

At the meeting with ACS and excise commissioner, the traders suggested to collect tax of the real sale from the shop owners. The traders asked government to exempt the increased auction money, which was set during the bidding for 2020-21. The traders asked the government to extend the term of licence to two more years from 2021-22 while the state government can increase 25 per cent of bidding amount. The traders have also asked that those who are not able to run the shops should be permitted to leave the contract without penalty. E-passes were demanded for workers and transporters involved in trading.

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Free Press Journal