NEW DELHI: After long queues outside liquor shops in the country capital took social distancing norms for a ride, the Resident Welfare Associations (RWA''s) in the city have urged the govt to right away close all liquor vends and review arrangements.
Several Resident Welfare Associations in Delhi have strongly objected to the opening of liquor shops in most parts of the city despite entire Delhi being declared as a Red Zone with over 4,459 coronavirus cases.
"The long queues started early in the morning outside liquor shops, even before the shops opened for sale, which led to social distancing going for a toss, in some areas it became a law and order problem and a few vends had to be shut," said V.K. Arora, Convenor of Delhi RWA Forum.
#WATCH Delhi: Long queue seen outside a liquor shop in C-Block, Vasant Vihar. Govt has allowed sale of liquor in standalone shops, neighbourhood (colony) shops or shops in residential complexes. #CoronavirusLockdown pic.twitter.com/WPWdaC6Q1c— ANI (@ANI) May 4, 2020
Some even suggested the Delhi government to first review matters and open the vends in a proper phased manner to make sure that no social distancing norms are flouted. "The first day of the opening of liquor vends was tricky and has already led to long queues and chaos within the city, the govt should immediately shut the liquor vends and introduce a policy to manage the sale by opening in a phased manner," said Rajiv Kakria, member of the RWA of Greater Kailash 1.
"The government can adopt odd-even formula to manage crowds, can think about home delivery of liquor on lines of the West Bengal government, can introduce rationing per person to stop hoarding or black marketing," Kakria suggested.
One such unique suggestion came from the General Secretary of Green Park Extension RWA, who suggested to rope in RWAs to distribute liquor. "Even RWA''s can be roped in for distribution of liquor," Puri said.
Many others acknowledged at the high risk that these long queues, as they claimed not just liquor shops but unchecked plying of autos and rickshaws, is additionally a concern. "Delhi is already witnessing the high rise of coronavirus cases within the last few days, with limited government medical facilities it's trying to find further troubles," said V.N. Bali of East Delhi RWA federation.
With the Delhi government opening around 150 select state-run liquor shops within the city, long queues and violation of social distancing norms were witnessed at many places in the capital on Monday, forcing many such stores to shut down.
Buyers had begun to collect outside many liquor shops, allowed to function, as early as 8.30 a.m. resulting in long queues. As per a Delhi government official, about 150 liquor shops were allowed to open in accordance with the newest lockdown relaxations given by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
There are around 850 liquor shops in the city, including those owned by government agencies and personal individuals. The order that allowed these shops to be reopened, the Delhi government instructed all shop responsible and other staff to report at their respective shops at 7 a.m. sharp from Monday onwards. The sale of liquor has been capped at nine litres and one beer case for one customer.