Shorter queues, social distancing norms return at Delhi's liquor stores

New Delhi [India], May 10 (ANI): Within a week of reopening of liquor stores in the national capital, the rush at these shops seems to have visibly dwindled.

People standing in a queue at Mayur Vihar Phase-3 liquor store said that it was now becoming easier to procure alcohol, after the "hardships they had to face" in the first few days.

Rakesh, the shop owner, also agreed that queues at the store had decreased in size through the day. He also pointed out the alcohol stocks were not being replenished as supply had been stopped in the wake of lockdown.

"The crowds are less now. We are trying to maintain social distancing. In the first few days long queues used to form every day, that situation has ceased now. It is good that people too have become aware and are following guidelines," Rakesh told ANI here.

However, new stocks are not coming in, we are making do with whatever stock we have with us, he added.

Deepak Singh, a customer awaiting his turn said that he had come to the store for the first time since they reopened. "I was not coming to the store due to the crowds. But now as the rush has subsided considerably I came to the shop today," he said.

Upon being questioned whether the additional levy of Special Corona fee of 70 per cent was acting as a deterrent for purchase of alcohol, Deepak said, "It might have an effect on daily consumers but social drinkers like us need not be worried. However, the ones who drink daily might have to settle for cheaper brands, depending on their pockets."

He pointed out that the online token system was still not working properly as he was unable to secure an online appointment for purchase of liquor.

Meanwhile, Umakant, another customer at the shop, who was able to avail of the e-token facility said, "I was able to secure an e-token after trying for close to four hours. It is better this way, as one can avoid standing in queues for long hours, also one can get as many bottles as one wants for personal consumption."

Soon after the resumption of sales at liquor stores across the national capital, social distancing norms had been widely flouted as eager Delhiites thronged to buy their choice of tipple. The criticism and flouting of social distancing norms led to Delhi government introducing the e-token system for the sale of liquor in the city. (ANI)