Delhi, reeling under a severe power crisis that is made worse by the scorching sun, has another problem on its hands -- shortage of beer at its liquor vends.
According to sources in the government, while the demand for beer has gone up in the city, supply has been on the weaker side with a number of government-run vends bearing the brunt of the shortage.
Sources further said the shortage has been created as Rajasthan, which supplies majority of beer to Delhi, had imposed a ban on export of beer to cater to its own needs.
"Rajasthan government had imposed restrictions in 'export' as they had to cater to their own state. However, the ban was lifted on Thursday and we are hoping that the situation will become normal in a few days. There has been a huge gap between the supply and demand for beer in Delhi this summer," said a senior official of the excise department.
The Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited (DSCSC), which has liquor vends across the city, has also written to the excise department asking them to ensure that government-run vends have sufficient stock of beer.
They further said that private vendors are still managing to get hold of stocks. “DSCSC has been experiencing shortage of beer with the onset of summer. On the other hand it has been reported that private vendors are somehow managing adequate supply,” reads the letter written by DSCSC to the excise department.
Sources also said that beer supply by the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation, which also runs a number of liquor vends in the city, had also taken a hit.
“Another reason for the shortage is the fact that the mandatory bar coding of the bottles has slowed down the process of packaging. Apart from this, the rise in the temperature has doubled the demand,” said a senior Delhi government official.
In the first week of June, there was a 50% increase in beer consumption compared to the overall per day average beer consumption that the city witnessed last year.
There are about 460 liquor vends--including departmental stores and government-owned outlets--besides 360 restaurants in the city, which are frequented by beer guzzlers to quench their thirst. Beer sales, however, is likely to experience a slow down in July with the onset of monsoon.