New Delhi: As India entered the third phase of lockdown today, long queues were witnessed outside liquor shops across the country. A total of 150 liquor shops were reopened in the national capital today and people were seen lining up in large numbers outside the shops before the outlets could open their shutter. Also Read - Fake News: Report Claims Continuous Use of Sanitizers Can Cause Skin Disease & Cancer, PIB Says It's False
In several states, people queued up as early as 3 AM and failed to maintain ‘2 gaj doori’, as suggested by PM Modi. Also Read - New Research Shows Adolescent Exposure to Anaesthetics May Cause Alcohol Use Disorder
Police personnel were seen trying to manage the crowd outside many outlets where more than five people are not allowed at a given time. However, there effort yielded no results as crowd refused to abide by the social distancing norms and forced shop owners to shut the outlets. Also Read - Kerala's BevQ Alcohol App Crosses Over 1 Lakh Downloads on Play Store, But Hit By Technical Glitch
“There is no point in opening liquor shops if a few policemen cannot monitor the queues. The consumers will certainly flout social distancing norms,” an attendant at the shop said.
Taking to Twitter, AAP MLA Somnath Bharti shared a video and said the crowds at a Malviya Nagar liquor shop in Delhi triggered panic among the locals.
In Karnataka, people crowded the liquor shops while some performed “special prayers” with flowers, coconuts,incense sticks, camphor and crackers in front of the stores.
Similarly in red zone cities like Pune and Mumbai, large crowds gathered outside liquor shops earlier in the day. In areas such as at Bhandarkar road, Wanawdi, Salunke Vihar and NIBM road, people thronged outlets to get alcohol.
In Salunke Vihar, more than 300 people including women lining up outside a prominent liquor shop since morning. However, the crowd was dispersed by a group of stick-wielding volunteers.
Ever since the first phase of lockdown was announced on March 24, liquor shops across the country were closed to contain the spread of coronavirus. Excise revenue loss during the period was about Rs 2,500 crore, according to government sources.