Liquor shops in Delhi. The Delhi government has slapped special corona cess of 70% on the price of liquor.
Delhi liquor shops open: The Delhi government’s move to discourage people from queuing up outside liquor shops in the capital does not appear to have had the desired effect. The scenes outside liquor stores in many areas of the capital bore a stark resemblance to what was witnessed on Monday, the day people stormed liquor shops which were allowed to operate after a 40-day gap. While social distancing measures were thrown to the wind, several incidents of unruly behaviour were also reported from many areas as the crowds went out of control. In a bid to ensure that the situation does not spiral out of control, the Delhi government on Monday announced a ‘special corona cess’ of 70 per cent on the price of liquor, hoping that it would dissuade people from lining up outside wine shops.
However, Tuesday morning revealed that the price hike had failed to dent the high spirits of Delhi residents as the long queues returned outside liquor shops. News agency ANI shared pictures and videos of the public waiting outside shops to buy bottles.
People said that they have no issue with the Delhi government’s decision to levy 70% cess on the MRP but the government should ensure the supply of alcohol.
The agency reported that people start queuing up outside since 6 am in different parts of the city. Similar were the scenes on Monday when the government permitted the sale of liquor from 9:30 am to 6 pm. It has also directed the deployment of marshals at shops to maintain social distancing.
“I have been here since 6 am. Shop was supposed to open at 9 am but police arrived at 8:55 am…who will be responsible if something untoward happens here? We have no issue with 70% tax, it’s like a donation from us to the country,” a man waiting outside a liquor shop in Laxmi Nagar said.
#WATCH A man outside a liquor shop in Laxmi Nagar, Delhi says,”I’m here since 6 am. Shop was supposed to open at 9 am but police arrived at 8:55 am…who will be responsible if something untoward happens here? We’ve no issue with 70% tax, it’s like a donation from us to country”. pic.twitter.com/xnhycDLL4y
— ANI (@ANI) May 5, 2020
Long queues were also seen in Mayur Vihar Phase 1 area of the capital.
In the Jhandewalan area, a large crowd of people gathered at a government liquor shop early in the morning, flouting the social distancing norms.
In the Chander Nagar area, a man showered flower petals on people standing in queues outside liquor shops. He said, “You are the economy of our country, the government does not have any money”.
#WATCH Delhi: A man showers flower petals on people standing in queue outside liquor shops in Chander Nagar area of Delhi. The man says, “You are the economy of our country, government does not have any money”. #CoronaLockdown pic.twitter.com/CISdu2V86V
— ANI (@ANI) May 5, 2020
On Monday, taking a serious note of long queues outside liquor shops and violation of social distancing rules, the Delhi government imposed a 70% ‘special corona fee’ on the maximum retail price of all liquor. The move is also expected to boost the government’s revenue which has been hit due to the coronavirus-forced lockdown.
In Kashmere Gate area, police on Monday resorted to mild lathicharge outside a liquor shop after social distancing norms were flouted by people. At Desh Bandhu Gupta Road, more than a kilometre long queue could be seen outside a liquor shop.
Meanwhile, office of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Vasant Vihar has issued show cause notice to the manager of ‘Govt Wine and Beer Delhi Tourism Shop’, shop no. C-5, C block, Vasant Vihar II, after a large number of people gathered at the shop violating social distancing norms on Monday.