Chandigarh administration to set up appointment system for buying alcohol
People can register online to get e-tokens and go to vends at the specified time to pick up liquorUpdated: May 17, 2020 23:14 IST
Want do enjoy a quiet drink at home in the evening, need to replenish your alcohol stock and don’t want to queue up for bottles of wine or whiskey in the May heat? Well, soon you will be able to book an appointment online with a liquor vend, get a token, and go pick up your bottle(s) at a specified time.
The move comes after crowds thronged vends, serpentine queues formed and people forgot social distancing rules in their eagerness to get their hands on alcohol on May 4 after 40 “dry” days of lockdown due to Covid-19 restrictions.
An appointment system, the administration hopes, will keep away the crowds.
It will allow people to book an appointment online, get a token and reach the vend at a specified time to pick up alcohol.
Dates to start the facility are yet to be fixed.
“Dedicated mobile and web based applications have been developed with the help of National Informatics Centre, Chandigarh. A buyer will have to register on it, book his purchase and get an electronic token to show at the time of purchase,” said a senior UT official privy to the development.
A fixed number of about 40 tokens will be issued in an hour even though the exact number is yet to be fixed.
The application and the website for getting the e-token is likely to be known as ‘liquor e-token’. Buyers will have to register online and share details like name, address, mobile number and age.
Currently, around 66 liquor vends are operational in the city under the excise policy of 2019-2020, which has been extended till June 30. On Saturday, the department announced that the licence fee will be paid in terms of pro-rata basis.
An excise department notification read that the fee already paid by the retail sale licensees for March 23 to March 31 when they could not run their vends due to the lockdown and curfew would be adjusted in the licence fee to be paid for the extended period. People who have not applied for extension/renewal of licences and those not getting licences extended/renewed for the extended period will have their licence fee refunded for the March 23 to 31 period.
Also, cow cess will be levied at the rate of Rs 5 per bottle of 750ml of country liquor, Rs 5 per bottle of 650ml of beer and Rs 10 per bottle of 750ml of whiskey.