Chennai

Tasmac flying squads check liquor flow ahead of election

The Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Ltd. (Tasmac) has deployed flying squads across the State to monitor liquor movement ahead of the election. Special teams have been constituted in all districts, which include a representative from Tasmac, excise and prohibition.

According to sources in Tasmac, from the time the election dates were announced, the teams have been scrutinising the State borders to keep a tab on liquor coming in from the neighbouring States.

Vehicles monitored

For the last one week, vehicles that move from depots to shops with liquor consignments are being monitored, and details pertaining to opening and closing stock, along with photographs, are being sent (through WhatsApp) to the head office in Chennai, said a source.

Sales patterns at shops are being scanned by the flying squad, and if the sales are abnormally high (more than 30% of the usual sales), those in charge of the shops are being questioned.

‘Sensitive’ shops

A senior official said that around 703 shops have been identified as “sensitive” based on parameters like aloof spots, those away from main roads and shops located in slums. “These shops will be watched closely,” he said.

Tasmac has put in place 45 checkposts across the State, especially in Villupuram and Krishnagiri.

“Cameras have been placed at these checkposts and monitored from the control room at the headquarters from time to time,” said the official.

Officials claim that because of these efforts, Tasmac has seized close to 5,264 bottles between February 26 and March 5 and over 180 FIRs have been filed. The maximum seizures happened in regions in and around Madurai, followed by the Coimbatore region.

Interestingly, liquor sales had dipped by 5-6% since the day the election dates were announced.

“Even prior to that, sale was down by 1-2% on an average,” said another source.

The source explained that although there was growth in the value of liquor sold, the volume had not been promising.

The reason for growth in value was due to the revision of maximum retail price (MRP) of IMFS and beer products that happened in February 2020.

The excise duty was again increased in May 2020.

Tasmac on an average sells liquor worth ₹130 crore to ₹140 crore a day through its 5,300-plus shops.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 9:40:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/tasmac-forms-flying-squads-check-flow-of-liquor/article34023732.ece

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