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New Delhi, May 5, 2020
There was chaos outside a liquor store in Delhi on Tuesday as police resorted to a lathi-charge in order to maintain the social distancing norms during the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Similar scenes of chaos were witnessed on Monday outside liquor shops at many places around the country.
With the sale of liquor capped at 9 litres and 1 beer case for one customer, people stood in a serpentine queue here outside a wine and beer shop in Karol Bagh area, refusing to heed any advisory, pushing each other and tripping over one another to make their purchases.
Delhi Police constables tried to keep them apart and requested them to maintain distance of a metre. But when the tipplers did not pay heed, the policemen carried out a lathi-charge to restore order.
The Delhi government on Monday said it will impose a 'special corona fee' on alcohol sale which will be 70 per cent of the MRP.
In an official order issued late on Monday night, the Finance Department has imposed the fee, applicable from Tuesday. "70 per cent of the maximum retail price on all categories of liquor sold through retail licencees for consumption off the premises," the Finance Department order signed by the Deputy Secretary reads, describing the fee.
According to a Delhi government official, about 150 liquor shops have been allowed to open in accordance with the latest lockdown relaxations given by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
There are around 850 liquor shops in the city, including those run by government agencies and private individuals.
In the order that allowed these shops to be reopened, the Delhi government instructed all shop in- charges and other staff to report at their respective shops at 7 am sharp from Monday onwards.