2.25 lakh people use liquor tokens on day one of sale in Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram, may 29: After over two months of closure due to COVID-19 induced lockdown, liquor shops reopened in Kerala on Thursday with over two lakh tipplers making use of a new mobile application to book their slot in the virtual queue and despite a few initial glitches, the app was able to serve its purpose of regulating the crowd.
State-run liquor outlets, bars as well as beer and wine shops have been closed since March 24, when the Centre declared a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said at least 2.25 lakh people in the state have used the token service the first day.
"The liquor sales have begun in the state. BevQ mobile application is used for virtual queue sale.There was no law and order issue in the state when the outlets were opened.
At least 2.25 lakh people used the token service through BevQ. The technical glitch which came up on its first day will be resolved," Vijayan said.
All the staff at the state-run outlets and the bar hotels were following the health precautionary measures as directed by the health department.
Staff were wearing masks and gloves and people were asked to maintain socialdistancing.
The Beverages corporation had earlier announced that the sale of liquor will begin to those who have booked the slot in the virtual queue on May 28 9 AM.
However, due to some glitches in software, at some places there were some confusions and at few outlets people were seen not folowingsocial distancing which were soon resolved by the police.
Vijayan also said strong action will be taken against those who have made a fake application mimicking the BevQ App.
Kerala State Beverages (Manufacturing & Marketing) Corporation Ltd (BEVCO) Managing Director G Sparjan Kumar, earlier in the day said the traffic on Google Playstore to download the app (BevQ) was heavy and resulted in many customers failing to make the booking.
At least 3.5 lakh people have downloaded the application which was launched yesterday.
To purchase liquor, one needs to book a slot in the virtual queue through the BevQ app.
Using the mobile app, people will receive an e-token to book the time slot to visit the nearest outlet and this would reduce the crowds seen earlier, state excise minister T P Ramakrishnan had said on Wednesday.
Liquor sales commenced at the 301-state-run outlets and 576 bar hotels in the state and as a time slot was been allotted to each customer, a crowd was not seen at any shop.