Udayavni Special

Kerala govt set to re-open liquor shops this weekend, plans to sell via e-token booking


PTI, May 20, 2020, 3:27 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala is set to re-open liquor outlets by this weekend as the state government is awaiting a security certificate for the newly developed mobile application for the online sale of liquor.

A mobile application is being developed by an Ernakulam-based private firm by which tipplers can book an e-token and go to the prescribed outlet or bars to purchase the liquor.

“The idea is to reduce crowding at the outlets. With an e-token, the person will be directed to a particular outlet or bar which is near to him as per the GPS location,” Kerala State Beverages Corporation Sparjan Kumar told PTI.

“This is to avoid people traveling far to buy liquor,” he said.

The software would have to be tested before opening it for public use.

“The application will have to be tested before being uploaded in the play store. We cannot put pressure on the developers to speed up the process. The security check will take its own time and the application will be released thereafter,” Kumar said.

There are 301 state-run liquor outlets in Kerala, apart from 598 bar hotels and 357 beer and wine parlors.

Adhering to the Centre’s guidelines, the state government has decided not to open the bars but has agreed to sell liquor as a takeaway from special retail counters.

“As per the government decision, there will be a retail counter at bars to sell liquor as a parcel at BEVCO prices. The state government has asked for a permission letter from all the bar owners,” a senior official of the excise department said.

He said safety measures would be taken at outlets and the counters.

Kumar said that the process of disinfecting the state-run outlets is being held across the state and instruction have been issued to the staff on how to deal with the customer once the shops are open.

The state government had on May 18 said the liquor outlets would open as and when the online system is ready and bars can sell liquor and food as a takeaway.

The state government has also said licensed clubs can sell liquor and food to their members as a parcel with strict restrictions on the number of persons.

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