New Delhi: Living in Delhi and planning to have some booze on the weekend? You may face problems in getting your favourite brands of liquor as around 40 per cent of liquor vends in the national capital that are run privately will shut down from October 1, Friday for the next one-and-half months. Under the new excise policy of the Delhi government, all the 850 liquor vends, including the 260-odd private outlets, have been given to private firms through open tender. However, the new licence holders will start retail sale of liquor in the city not before November 17.Also Read - International Flights: Air India Announces Fresh Flight Schedule Between India and Thailand | Here’s How to Book Tickets

Meanwhile, in the transition period of nearly one-and-half months, only government-run liquor vends will remain open and these will close down on November 16. “There are already problems in getting one’s favourite brands since the private liquor store in my neighbourhood has depleted its stock as it is wrapping up business. Permanent closure of private shops means more problems,” said a Laxmi Nagar resident, Dhiraj Kumar. Also Read - Weather Update: North India, including Delhi to Shiver At 12 Degrees Next Week, Warns IMD

An excise department official said that the government vends have been asked to stock up in view of an expected surge in demand. “It’s a transition phase and some people may have problems but there will be no shortage as there are adequate number of government vends to cater to the demand,” the officer said. There are around 720 operating liquor vends, out of which nearly 260 or 40 per cent are privately run, he said. Also Read - Punjab Bans Manufacturing, Sale of Firecrackers Ahead of Diwali; Issues New Timing For Green Crackers | Details Here

No liquor shop to open in 23 wards from Friday

The excise department has also prepared to check the possibility of illicit liquor entering the city from neighbouring states due to closure of private shops, it said. There are 26 municipal wards in the city where no liquor shop will open after September 30 as they were catered to by private vends only. There are already 80 wards where there are no liquor vends. The Delhi government, under its new excise policy, divided the city into 32 zones and bid the liquor vends there aiming an equitable distribution of retail liquor business across the city. Each zone comprising 8-10 wards will have around 27 vends.

(Based on PTI inputs)