Hyderabad, (Samajweekly) Tipplers queued up in large numbers since Wednesday morning as liquor shops opened in Telangana after a gap of 43 days.
Within hours after the decision by the state cabinet to allow retail sale of liquor, more than 2,000 Aoutlets re-opened in all 33 districts across the state at 10 a.m.
The government has allowed re-opening of liquor shops in all districts including the red zone. However, those in the containment zones will not be allowed to open.
The state has 2216 liquor shops and of them 15 of them located in containment zones have not been re-opened.
The government’s decision to hike the liquor prices by 16 per cent failed to dampen the spirit of the liquor lovers, who started queuing up two-three hours before the shops re-opened. The price of acheap liquor’ has been enhanced by 11 per cent.
There was some delay in beginning the sale as the revised prices were not updated at a few places.
“I spent a sleepless since I heard the announcement last night. When I arrived here some people were already standing in the queue. I thank the chief minister for allowing the sale of liquor,” said a man standing in the queue at Bagga Wines at Koti in Hyderabad.
Every customer was seen standing in the circle marked outside the shops to ensure social distancing.A As the authorities have announced ano mask no liquor’ policy, they were all seen wearing the masks.
Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao said late Tuesday that any shop seen flouting distancing norms will be immediately shut down.
The chief minister said his government would not tolerate the situation witnessed in Delhi, Bengaluru and other cities.
The shops can remain open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and sell liquor only to those customers wearing masks.
KCR said the government had to take a decision to re-open liquor shops as all four states who share borders with Telangana have re-opened them. “If we don’t open shops here it will lead to smuggling from neighbouring states,” he said.
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh share borders with Telangana.