A hic, hic, hurray moment for tipplers as liquor shops reopen in J&KUpdated: May 22, 2020 00:41 IST
Love for Bacchus on Thursday saw hundreds of tipplers waiting in serpentine queues outside liquor shops that opened in Jammu and Kashmir after nearly two months.
The Jammu and Kashmir excise department had authorised 41 of the 224 liquor vends to open on Thursday. Consequently, a huge rush was seen outside such vends where social distancing norms had gone for a toss.
In Jammu city, where the mercury soared to 41 degrees Celsius on Thursday, the boozers were seen in long queues to purchase liquor.
To implement social distancing, the police had to resort to mild cane charge at some places.
On Sunday, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had levied 50% additional retail excise duty on liquor—the biggest source of income for the UT.
Only on Wednesday evening, the administration had issued a new rate list for liquor shops.
J&K excise commissioner Rajesh Kumar Shavan said, “Around 40 vends were opened on Thursday across J&K. The total sales figures have not been compiled as yet. We will try to open more vends from Friday.”
Amid Covid-19 lockdown liquor vends were shut across the Union territory since March 25 and they were opened after 57 days.
However, there had been an upward swing in bootlegging and reports of liquor smuggling from neighbouring Punjab.