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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Home delivery of liquor allowed in Mumbai’s non-containment zones

As liquor shops witnessed long queues following Centre's nod to open the vends, a number of states decided to allow to home delivery of liquor to ensure required social distancing amid Covid-19 pandemic. 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 23, 2020 2:46:11 pm
pune lockdown, lockdown relaxation, pune coronavirus cases, pune mayor, india lockdown, indian express The long queue at the liquor shop on FC road with barricades and other preventive measures on Wednesday during the lock down owing to the Pandemic COVID-19 outbreak. (Express photo by Arul Horizon)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Friday allowed home delivery of liquor in Mumbai, except in containment zones. The civic body, however, said over-the-counter sale of liquor will not be allowed.

This comes a week after the Maharashtra government allowed liquor to be home delivered in the state barring certain districts in Mumbai, Aurangabad and Beed.

“E-commerce platforms may be utilised by the liquor shops permitted to do home delivery,” said the BMC order. The sale of liquor was earlier completely banned in the city, which is among the worst affected by Covid-19.

As liquor shops witnessed long queues following the Union government’s nod to open the vends, a number of states decided to allow home delivery of liquor in order to avoid crowding and ensure required social distancing amid Covid-19 pandemic. The Supreme Court had also asked the states to explore the option of online sale or home delivery of liquor to avoid crowding at the vends.

Earlier this week, the Jharkhand government roped in online food-delivery platforms Swiggy and Zomato to deliver liquor at people’s doorsteps. Swiggy started with Ranchi and stated that it would be expanding the service to other cities in the state within a week. Besides Jharkhand, the company was also in talks with multiple state governments.

In the first week of May, the Punjab government issued orders to open the liquor vends with the provision of home delivery, even as liquor contractors in several districts decided not to start operations “until the Excise Policy 2020-21 is reviewed”. As per an the order issued by Excise and Taxation Department, the liquor stores would remain open from 9 am to 1 pm. The timing for home delivery will be decided by the respective assistant excise and taxation commissioners in consultation with deputy commissioners.

The Chhattisgarh government too launched a web portal facilitating home delivery of liquor in green zones of the state to avoid crowding at wine shops during the Covid-19 lockdown. The portal has been named after the state-run CSMCL (Chhattisgarh State Marketing Corporation Limited), which controls the sale of liquor in the state, a public relations department official here said.

As the West Bengal government on May 6 gave permission for home delivery of liquor, the State Beverages Corporation (BEVCO) launched a site on which people over 21 years of age could place orders. Customers can place orders through a website after registering themselves by providing necessary details such as address and mobile number, among others. After registration, they could order liquor from the stores listed on the website.

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