After expressing reluctance to push alcohol sale, the Maharashtra government finally decided to allow the home delivery of alcohol. The development comes days after Maharashtra introduced the e-token system on a pilot basis in the cities of Pune and Nashik, to control the number of tipplers who throng alcohol shops during Lockdown 3.0.
Right now, any person of legal drinking age (21 for beer, 25 for other spirits) can opt for home delivery of alcohol by making calls to the local retailers. An online delivery system is yet to be started by the government as the administration is resolving infrastructural roadblocks such as delivery personnel and transportation, etc. Until then, home delivery would be just a phone call away.
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While this comes as welcome news for many, there are certain caveats one must keep in mind.
The licensee (seller) has been allowed to sell only Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL), i.e., spirits, beer, mild liquor, and wines, that too “only in respect of the liquor for which he is licensed to sale”.
Sale and delivery of foreign liquor will be allowed only within the area of the licensed premises at a time and date specified by the administration.
The delivery person must wear a mask and sanitise his hands frequently.
As for the residents of Pune and Nashik, who can also physically visit stores to pick up alcohol, acquiring e-tokens would be mandatory. Liquor would not be sold to any person who does not possess the e-token that is being given out the state excise department.
To acquire the same, interested persons will have to register on the state excise department portal, which they will have to produce at the shops to buy liquor. A limited number of tokens are issued each day.
This system was introduced to limit the number of persons gathering outside shops to buy alcohol, so that social distancing norms are not violated, risking further spread of the novel coronavirus.To follow our full coverage on coronavirus, click here