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Liquor shops open: From 'corona fee' to lathicharge, here's how states are managing buyer rush

The Delhi government has levied a 70 percent 'special corona fee' on the sale of liquor

May 06, 2020 / 06:51 PM IST

The Maharashtra government has collected over Rs 62 crore revenue on May 4 and May 5 from liquor sales after relaxations announced in COVID-19 lockdown, while Rs 242 crore worth of liquor was sold in the two days in Karnataka.

To manage the mammoth rush to buy liquor, some state governments hiked prices of alcohol, like Delhi, which announced a 70 percent ‘special corona fee' on alcohol and Andhra Pradesh that enhanced prices by 25 percent and later by another 50 percent.

But it clearly didn't matter much — not to casual drinkers who wanted to stock up their bars and neither to the more serious addicts reduced to despair without any alcohol.

As the liquor shops were opened, a huge number of people lined up or gathered outside from early morning, counting the hours for the shutters to go up and then more hours till they reached the counter. Some of them reportedly violated social distancing norms as the fear of COVID-19 was eclipsed by the eagerness to access alcohol after more than 40 dry days.