Delhi

Only half the liquor shops open shutters in Gurugram

People queuing up to buy alcohol outside a shop in Gurugram on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Numerous complaints of overcharging were received with the opening of liquor shops in Gurugram on Wednesday, more than a month after they were shut due to the lockdown. However, only half of the vends could open due to the scarcity of staff and stock.

The upscale DLF areas recorded low business while long queues were witnessed in Sector 40, South City-I and on Golf Course Extension Road.

The vendors ensured that social distancing norms were largely adhered to and did not allow more than four-five customers inside. But there were complaints of overcharging at many places.

Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, East Zone, Aruna Singh conceded that there were reports of overcharging. She said no maximum price was fixed for liquor in the State and incidents of overcharging were because of demand-supply mismatch. Ms. Singh said the situation would become normal in a couple of days.

Almost half of the 112 vendors opened their shutters in East zone while 26 sites are yet to be auctioned.

Auction to resume

Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, West Zone, H.C. Dahiya, said only 65 out of the total 106 vends under his jurisdiction opened and 40 sites are yet to be auctioned. “The auction process was suspended midway due to the lockdown in March. It will resume on Thursday,” he said. The officer said that some of the owners struggled due to the scarcity of stock and staff and many had not reached rent agreement for the spaces, forcing them to remain shut. He, however, expressed hope that all the vendors would become operational in the next few days.

Meanwhile, DLF areas, including Cyber Cityrecorded poor business due to the closure of the offices and the Cyber Hub.

Sanjay of Krishna Wines near Ardee City said that around a hundred customers had come to them enquiring about liquor since morning, but they did not have enough stock.

.Waiting for his turn outside a liquor shop on Vikas Marg, Kanishk Sharma said that he was not comfortable paying higher price after waiting in the queue for so long. “But I don’t mind paying extra bucks if the delivery is made at my doorstep,” he quipped.

The vend’s manager said the rush was less than expected and the people seemed sceptical about venturing out due to corona threat.

Ms. Singh said tenders for liquor vends in Haryana were given for a particular location and therefore online supply of liquor could be allowed only after necessary amendment in the excise policy. “As of now, a vendor is allowed to cater to a particular area only,” said the officer.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 10:03:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/only-half-the-liquor-shops-open-shutters-in-gurugram/article31521496.ece

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