Around 20 lakh e-tokens issued for liquor sale so far

New Delhi: To avoid crowding at liquor vends, the Delhi government had started issuing e-tokens, specifying the store and timings, for residents on a web link set up by the excise department. As of Tuesday around 20 lakh e-tokens have been issued by the government. Since there are fewer shops that are functioning this has led to over crowding at liquor shops, violating social distancing norms that are mandated to curb the spread of Covid-19.

However, several people even with e-coupons are unable to procure their favourite liquor. A resident of CR Park, Sunil, reached within his time slot only to learn that the stock was over. "It has happened to several of my friends too."

Vinod Giri, the director-general of the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies said, "There are few shops that are fully functional and the ordering pattern is also not proper. Even though wholesalers have stock it is unable to reach the consumers as it fails to reach the shops. Shop keepers also have limited space to store the liquor and once they run out they have to order again." The solution is simple. Open large number of liquor vends which would allow increase in supply, Giri added.

The municipalities on May 7 had submitted a list of 30 private liquor shops in the city that are not located in markets, malls, commercial spaces and shopping complexes, and hence could be allowed to operate.

Delhi has 864 liquor shops, of which 475 are owned by government departments, ranging from tourism to industrial and infrastructure development. The other 389 are owned by private individuals and enterprises. Only 80-90 shops are fully functioning till date.

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