Mumbai’s decision to shut down liquor vends saw a 22 per cent drop in the liquor consumption in Maharashtra.
On Tuesday, retail liquor stores across the state had sold 16.1 lakh litre of alcohol, worth Rs 63 crore. A day later, after BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi decided to discontinue operations of standalone liquor shops and other non-essential outlets, the consumption dropped to 12.5 lakh litres, worth of Rs 43.75 crore.
Excise Commissioner Kantilal Umap said: “The two districts of Mumbai account for 1,190 retail liquor stores. The island city has 350 shops, while suburbs another 769. On Tuesday, about 600 of these were running. All of them shut down on Wednesday.” Contending that Maharashtra is a liquor prohibition state, senior officials said that a door-to-door delivery of liquor was unlikely.
According to an official communication from the excise department, 2,967 of the 10,822 licensed retail liquor stores, roughly 27 per cent, opened across the state on Wednesday. These included 1,036 country liquor stores, 355 wine shops and 1576 beer shops.
While the Centre and the state have permitted standalone liquor vends in non-containment zones to function, only 18 of the state’s 36 districts are permitting such stores to remain open as on Wednesday.