To keep a check on the sale of spurious liquor in used foreign liquor bottles and smuggling from other states, all bottles sold in Delhi will now have two-dimensional (2D) bar-coding.
Though the proposal was cleared nearly a year ago, senior excise department official said they are now ready to launch a pilot project in this regard.
“We have identified 48 liquor shops in the National Capital — 12 each in three municipal corporations and in the New Delhi Municipal Council area — where the pilot project will take off. Officials of our department as well as employees of the shops are being imparted one-month training for the purpose. The project will be launched in the second week of January,” said a senior excise department official.
Once the project is successful, the department will implement this scheme in all the 550 liquor stores in Delhi, including private shops. Bottles available at restaurants, pubs and hotels will also have this bar-coding. Delhi sells around 34 crore bottles of liquor (country-made, Indian-made foreign liquor and imported liquor) annually.
The Delhi government has roped in Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for the project. Interestingly, the government is not spending even a single paisa on the project. The TCS, however, will get 15 paisa per bottle once the project is launched. The agency has been given a seven-year contract.
Delhi will be the first city in the country to introduce the 2D bar-coding on liquor bottles. According to officials, it will not only help the excise department to keep a check on the sale of spurious liquor through reuse of bottles, but will also enable online tracking of the liquor market.
“We will generate a unique number for each liquor bottle which will be sent to the plant were liquor is bottled. A special software has been designed for the purpose. Once the bar-coding is done on the liquor bottle, we will be able to track its movement. Every single bottle in Delhi will be accounted for which will help us to identify whether it has been smuggled from other states or has been filled with spurious liquor,” the official added.
The bar-coding will incorporate a comprehensive database of liquor, date of bottling, batch number, distillery name and other relevant information.
An office is being set up in the Delhi government's office complex near the Metcalfe House in north Delhi and servers are being installed at IT Park near Shastri Park Metro station.