Sorry TIPPLERS, You’ll have to Stay SOBER until 20 April, ‘Cause Liquor Shops will Remain CLOSED!
Mangaluru: A day ago Tipplers were kind of excited due to rumours that were spreading on social media that liquor shops may open on 15 or 16 April, but all their wait and excitement is in vain now- since the Karnataka Excise department on Tuesday issued an order stating that the ban on liquor sale will continue till the midnight of April 20.The order issued by the Excise Commissioner on Tuesday referred to an earlier order, which stated that liquor shops would be shut from March 31, 2020, to April 14, 2020.
After April 20, the lockdown will be reviewed and revised in some places. “Therefore, we have decided to direct liquor shops to remain shut at least till April 20,” the order said.The commissioner also stated that some of the distilleries which are manufacturing alcohol-based hand sanitisers, can continue to operate. “Other than this, no consumable alcohol can be prepared. Deputy Excise Commissioners have to keep a vigil on the units, as well as liquor shops. In case of any violation, the licence will be cancelled,’’ the order said. It may be noted on Monday some of the liquor vendors’ associations wrote a letter to the chief minister, as well as the chief secretary, urging that they be allowed to continue with their business, at least for two hours a day. They were ready to carry out parcel services too.
Following rumours that the state govt is contemplating allowing liquor shops run by Mysuru Sales International Ltd (MSIL) to open from 15 April or 16, some retail outlets in North Karnataka have swung into action, where they have already started installed barricades and marking circles to maintain social distancing in front of their shops. And these images are already gone viral on social media, and had created a buzz. But after the order from Deputy Excise Commissioner, all their efforts are now being nullified, since no liquor should be sold until 20 April.
MSIL outlets in other parts of the state had made necessary arrangements already for their customers to stand in a queue in front of their shops, and have installed wooden barricades in front of their liquor shops. Netizens who are waiting for liquor shops to open have overwhelmingly reacted to the pictures that have gone viral on social media, and many have stated that the government’s decision has come as a big relief. Interestingly, the state govt had not decided on the excise department’s proposal to allow the sale of liquor during the remainder of the lockdown period. And now CM Yediyurappa has to wait until 20 April, in order to make any decision on opening of liquor shops.
Anyways, as of now, the liquor shops will remain close until 20 April, even though the Liquor Association had written to the CM requesting that they be allowed to open their stores for two hours a day for customers to purchase alcohol. The letter pointed out that on the one hand alcohol-dependent people had died or attempted suicide in some cases, on the other, around 60 liquor theft cases were registered across the state, including those of sale of spurious liquor. The Federation of Wine Merchants Association of Karnataka also wrote to the CM and chief secretary raising similar concerns and assured the government that they would ensure physical distance was maintained if they were allowed to open. They pointed out that some of their goods were nearing the expiry date and if not sold before then would cause them losses. Over 50 lorries are stuck in transit as only essential goods are permitted to be unloaded. The association said that its members found it difficult to meet expenses such as rent, salaries, tax, power bills etc, while business remained shut.
But none of their demands could convince the government to change the mind and open liquor shops. Therefore, until 20 April, it is once gain dry days for tipplers to stay sober- and if they are lucky, the liquor shops could open on 21 April- but everything is in the hands of the government. But anyways, all you beer guzzlers and hard liquor sippers, keep your fingers crossed, and hope for the best. Cheers well in advance, in case the wine shops open on 21 April!