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Liquor makers pitch for online sale as tipplers crowd shops

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New Delhi, May 05: Alcohol makers pitched for allowing online sales of spirits and crowd management at liquor shops as stores at several places in the country were ordered to put up the shutters on Monday with thousands of anxious tipplers breaking social distancing protocol.

Liquor makers pitch for online sale as tipplers crowd shops

As India entered the third phase of lockdown and some restriction were lifted, major revenue contributor liquor shops were allowed to reopen after almost 40 days gap under the new guidelines.

Liquor shops shut in 4 Delhi districts as social distancing norms floutedLiquor shops shut in 4 Delhi districts as social distancing norms flouted

But many shops in parts of Delhi, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh had to be shut just minutes after they opened as restless, edgy crowds milled around, forgetting all about social distancing norms necessary to ward off COVID-19.

Alcohol industry bodies as All India Distillers Association (AIDA), All India Brewers' Association (AIBA) and Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) pointed out that there were reports and chaos at liquor shops, which opened on Monday as the product was absent from the market during the one-and-a-half month-long prohibition during the lockdown.

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Some of them said that they have already anticipated such a rush and had suggested the government to permit online sales of liquor in the country, delivering the product at the consumer's door.

All India Distillers Association, while welcoming the government's step to allow liquor shop to open in the green zones, said that local authorities should have controlled the crowd at the shops.

States where liquor shops are openStates where liquor shops are open

"The government would have to control it, we have witnessed today a lot of rush on the shops and local police, which was required to control the crowd, was not there. I also hope and expect the public to behave in a responsible manner following the norms of the social distancing," AIDA Director General V N Raina told PTI.

On being asked about the quantum of sale, Raina said that definitely, sales in the urban areas were higher.

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