Raipur: Nearly two hours after the Chhattisgarh State Marketing Corporation Limited (CSMCL) app meant for online sale and home delivery of liquor started accepting orders, it faced a breakdown following an abnormal surge in the number of orders. As per reports, within an hour after the app started accepting orders, over 50,000 people made their liquor delivery orders leading the app to crash. And, the unprecedented rise in demand led to a stoppage in the online booking of liquor. Reports suggest that a team is currently working on a fix for the issue which was caused after lakhs of people started making orders at a time. Also Read - Viral Video: Tamil Nadu Man Worships Alcohol Bottles After State Allows Reopening of Liquor Shops | WATCH

The incident happened on Monday, just a day after the Chhattisgarh government allowed online sale and home delivery of liquor in the state through the CSMCL website or app, with an additional charge of Rs. 100 for home delivery, claiming it will help prevent black marketing of alcohol during the ongoing coronavirus-enforced lockdown. The decision was taken as liquor shops are not allowed to open in the state during the lockdown. Also Read - Avoid These 5 Common Foods That Can Hamper Your Immunity

“To curb illegal manufacturing, sale, transportation and possession of liquor during the lockdown period, permission has been granted for its home delivery through online orders from Monday,” an official from the excise department said. Also Read - Mother Along With 5 Daughters Jump to Death in Front of Speeding Train in Chhattisgarh

“The timing for the home delivery has been fixed from 9 am till 8 pm. The district administration can change the timings as per the local situation. Chhattisgarh State Marketing Corporation Limited (CSMCL) will decide which wine shops will provide home delivery service and customers will have to make payment in advance…,” an order issued by the state excise department stated.

However, the move was criticised by the opposition BJP in Chhattisgarh, stating that it seems the state government’s priority was to provide liquor to people instead of medical facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state government had earlier also allowed online sale of liquor in May last year when shops were closed due to restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 during its first wave. Like earlier, people can book orders on the CSMCL’s website or its app available on Google playstore. Customers can order up to five litres of liquor at a time and Rs 100 will be charged for home delivery service, which will be available within 15 km of the shop concerned, the official said.

Earlier on Saturday, Chhattisgarh Excise Minister Kawasi Lakhma said that in view of incidents of illegal sale of liquor and deaths after consumption of sanitisers and alcohol-based medicines as a substitute for liquor, the government was considering to restart the home delivery service of liquor. He said the lockdown is in force in the state since some time and liquor shops are shut. Police have been taking necessary action to thwart illegal sale of liquor in Chhattisgarh from neighbouring states.

On Sunday, Chhattisgarh’s COVID-19 count rose to 8,51,476 with the addition of 9,120 cases, while the death toll went up by 189 to 10,570, an official said. The number of recoveries reached to 7,14,359 after 370 patients were discharged from various hospitals, while 12,440 others completed their home isolation during the day. The number of active cases in the state stands at 1,26,547, the official said