Liquor home delivery allowed in Mumbai, but conditions applyUpdated: May 23, 2020 00:17 IST
Home delivery of liquor in sealed bottles will be allowed in Mumbai from Saturday, but with certain riders. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Iqbal Chahal, who issued a circular to the effect on Friday, said the service will not be available in containment zones, people ordering liquor will need permits issued by the excise department and no shop will be allowed to sell over the counter.
Wine shop owners, however, said immediate delivery from Saturday seems difficult. “Delivery services will require nod from the collector’s office, including the excise department. We may be able to deliver only from Sunday or Monday,” said a wine shop owner, who did not want to be named.
The circular, which comes five days after the state government allowed home delivery of liquor in red zones, states that the delivery can happen even through e-commerce and online platforms.
However, shop owners, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they would prefer to deliver on their own rather than go through e-commerce and online platforms. The owners said they fear entry of these platforms in the liquor delivery space and that could harm their business in the future.
Maharashtra consumes around 86 crore litres of liquor every year, which works out to daily consumption of around 24 lakh litres.
The state government had earlier allowed opening of non-essential shops, including those selling liquor, but it resulted in crowding outside wine shops in Mumbai. The civic body then on May 5 ordered all shops selling non-essential goods to shut. The then civic chief Praveen Pardeshi had issued the order citing inputs from police and ward officials and social media posts. He had said “it has been impossible to maintain social distancing and there were few instances of law-and-order situation arising out of crowds gathering at one place”.