Liquor shops re-open in Telangana; tipplers throng stores
After remaining shut for over a month in view of the COVID-19 lockdown, liquor shops in Telangana re-opened on Wednesday with impatient tipplers forming serpentine queues even before the shutters went up.
Hyderabad: After remaining shut for over a month in view of the COVID-19 lockdown, liquor shops in Telangana re-opened on Wednesday with impatient tipplers forming serpentine queues even before the shutters went up.
Owners of the outlets performed special prayers with flowers, coconuts, incense sticks and offered 'Aarti' (lighting traditional lamp and camphor) infront of the stores at several places, before commencing business.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had on Tuesday night announced that barring 15 liquor outlets located in various containment zones in the state, the remaining over 2,200 would be open for business from 10 am to 6 pm beginning Wednesday.
However, bars, pubs and other outlets that serve booze will remain shut.
Police personnel were deployed at most of the outlets to avoid untoward incidents and ensure law and order.
Most of the liquor vends had drawn chalk circles outside the shops to make sure the customers observed social distancing rules while buying liquor.
At some stores customers had even placed their footwear, bags and other articles inside the circles without standing in the queue.
"I was waiting for this day.. I would not mind the price hike. This time I will get sufficient stocks," an exuberant buyer said.
The state government has hiked the prices of liquor by 16 per cent.
The decision was taken after the neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Chattisgarh allowed resumption of liquor sale.
All the wine shops were closed ever since the lockdown was enforced from March 22 in the state.
The state government has warned that licenses of shops would be cancelled if the physical distancing norms were violated by sellers and buyers.