In what seems to be a rare scenario, the tipplers desperate to buy their share of booze lined up outside the liquor shops in Tamil Nadu with never seen before discipline without rushing towards the counter. The state-run TASMAC shops have imposed certain restrictions and laid down rules and regulations for the liquor buyers. The TASMAC shops will remain open from 10 am to 5 pm in all districts except Chennai which is said to be the red zone.
The shops will not be open for all at all times. The state DGP has laid down a schedule according to which those above 50 years can buy till 1 pm; those between 40 and 50 from 1 pm to 3 pm and those below that age will get a forslot in the last two hours. The buyers can get only two 750 ml bottles once in three days and will have to carry their Aadhaar cards, whose details are to be entered in the bills.
The state has so far not witnessed any haphazard buying behaviour that was seen in Delhi, Bangalore and other parts of the country where people flooded the streets violating the social distancing norm for hours to have their hands of the liquor bottles.
A few cities have made provisions of giving coloured passes to the individual household to step out on colour specific days in order to buy groceries and essentials. The same law will be applicable for liquor as well.
Certain areas made carrying an open umbrella compulsory which could automatically lead to a social distancing of about three feet. Although the men seemed to be happy about the availability of alcohol after over 40 days hiatus, the women seemed to be outraged by the reopening of the liquor shops and some even protested against it.
The opposition parties too protested against the move to open liquor shops pointing out that it would prove fatal and add to the risk of the spread of the virus. “The state government has not learnt any lesson from the crowding at the Koyambedu wholesale vegetable market in Chennai that resulted in a spurt in corona cases. Unmindful of that they are opening the liquor shops just to boost their revenue without caring about the people’s health,” alleged DMK leader MK Stalin who along with his wife and son wore a black dress and held a protest in front of his house. Other opposition leaders observed a similar 15-minute protest in front of their respective homes.