Huge crowd thronged liquor outlets as homeowners carried out particular prayers at a number of locations after liquor outlets reopened in Telangana on Wednesday after over a month because of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
Clients rushed to outlets and shaped lengthy, serpentine queues even earlier than the shutters went up as the federal government allowed the sale of liquor at greater than 2,000 outlets throughout the state with a 16 p.c hike in costs. The federal government additionally issued pointers to be followedbat the outlets, together with strict adherence to social distancing and necessary use of face masks.
Retailers in coronavirus containment zones will, nevertheless, stay shut.
Telangana is the most recent to hitch the listing of states, together with neighbouring Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, which have allowed the sale of liquor which was out of bounds through the first two phases of the lockdown.
“I used to be ready for at the present time… I’d not thoughts the worth hike. This time I’ll get enough shares,” a purchaser stated at one of many outlets in Hyderabad.
Folks had been seen dancing exterior some outlets and hailing Chief Minister Okay Chandrasekhar Rao, who on Tuesday evening allowed liquor outlets to reopen.
Because the outlets opened, homeowners carried out particular prayers with flowers, coconuts, incense sticks and provided “Aarti” – the lighting of conventional lamp and camphor – in entrance of the shops at a number of locations, earlier than commencing enterprise.
At a number of place individuals had been seen ready from as early as 6 am, with baggage in hand, ready for the shops to open.
Ladies and aged individuals had been additionally seen standing in queues close to the liquor outlets.
State Excise Minister Srinivas Goud stated he visited a number of shops in Hyderabad and stated all of them adopted the federal government pointers akin to sporting masks and sustaining bodily distances, amongst others.
There are 17 liquor depots owned by Telangana Drinks Company and no retail outlet has but positioned order for recent shares, he stated, including, homeowners are promoting no matter shares they already had earlier than the lockdown was introduced.
Defending the reopening of wine outlets, the minister stated Telangana shares over 2,500 km lengthy border with different states and since all of them have resumed liquor gross sales the state authorities additionally took the choice to permit gross sales to manage any unlawful and illicit liquor commerce.
The chief minister had on Tuesday introduced that barring 15 liquor shops positioned in numerous containment zones within the state, the remaining over 2,200 outlets can be open for enterprise from 10 am to six pm starting Wednesday. Nonetheless, bars and pubs will stay shut.
Police personnel had been deployed at many of the shops to keep away from untoward incidents and guarantee regulation and order.
Many of the liquor distributors drew circles with chalk exterior the outlets to make sure prospects observe social distancing guidelines.
At some shops, prospects even positioned their footwear, baggage and different articles contained in the circles as a kind of ‘proxy’ for them whereas they stayed just a little distance away awaiting their flip.
The state authorities has warned that licenses of retailers can be cancelled if social distancing norms had been violated by sellers and patrons.