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GB Nagar: Post lockdown liquor prices spike in black markets

New Delhi/ G B Nagar: As the government has banned the supply of liquor and cigarettes during the lockdown, the traders are charging an exorbitant price for the old stock and making it available illegally in Noida and Greater Noida. Reports from several wine shops are coming where people are getting liquor at more than double the printed rates.

The government has allowed selling of only essential items during the 21-day lockdown but the sale of cigarette and liquor is not in the list. Liquor shops have been totally shut since the government announced a nationwide lockdown on March 24, however, some local grocery shops and supermarkets are selling cigarettes that too at higher prices.

Cigarette enthusiasts and drinkers are knocking all possible doors to satisfy booze. Traders are only limited to sell non-essential good that are set out in the regulations. As a result, the traders are charging much higher prices that the print rate.

According to a source, for a bottle with a printed rate of 400, it is being sold between Rs 800 to Rs 1000 and a packet of 20 cigarettes is costing nearly Rs 500. Police have been received complaints through Twitter about groups of people gathering near liquor shops in Banghel, Sarfabad, Nithari, and sector 5, 7, 9 in Noida and other such spots to get liquor in the evening. In rural areas also, reports of people bootlegging Indian local liquor are also being reported to police through Twitter. The local smugglers who have stocked liquor by illegally transporting it from nearby districts and states are making good money in the time when the whole nation is battling with disease.

Cops have appealed to people not to consume such liquor as this may not only risk their health but might also land them in jail if found in possession of such illegal liquor.

"As all the wine shops and bars in the district are closed down from March 23 to April 14, sale of any form of alcohol is prohibited. We are working 24×7 to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the public. If you have the habit of drinking, don't consume if anyone sells you alcohol at a lower or higher price. It will affect your health and life. We appeal people to immediately call on police helpline or excise control room number as the sale of any form of alcohol during this period of time will be considered as illegal" said a senior police officer of Gautam Buddh Nagar police.

Meanwhile, the supply chain disruption is also leading to a shortage of daily use items in the district. While packets of flour and pulses are not available, shopkeepers are selling items in loose packets.

Even the whole sellers are not willing to supply goods at the moment, the supply chain is also affected with a shortage of loaders and workers in the market. In some areas, the food delivery apps are also not catering residents.

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