Bhubaneswar: Throwing rules to the wind, people were seen queuing up in front of liquor shops at Bapuji Nagar and Station Bazaar areas in the Odisha capital on Monday morning.
These shops were opened to take online orders and provide home delivery service from 7 am to 6 pm as per the state government’s directive.
Notably, the government has given permission for only online and not over-the-counter sale of liquor amid the lockdown following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Flouting the guidelines, people wearing masks, however, made beeline for these shops this morning and were seen violating the social distancing norms.
On being informed, police reached the spot and closed the counters. Vehicles of customers parked near these counters were also seized.
Liquor shop owners in Bhubaneswar had earlier demanded both online and offline sale of liquor to be able to meet the the monthly Minimum Guarantee Quota (MGQ).
On May 23, the government had issued the standard operating procedure for home delivery of liquor by the existing on and off shop licensees of IMFL and beer in areas other than containment zones and shopping malls in Odisha from Sunday.
People can order for home delivery of liquor over the phone or through SMS, WhatsApp and email. An extra 50 per cent COVID fee will be charged on MRP of bottles and cans for this service.
Zomato has been given permission to deliver liquor in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur and Puri and Swiggy in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur and Rourkela.