Tamil Nadu

Coronavirus lockdown | Tasmac to open shops from May 7 in Tamil Nadu

A Tasmac shop in Chennai. File

A Tasmac shop in Chennai. File   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

TASMAC outlets have been closed since March 24 when the government effected a state-wide lockdown.

The State government on Monday announced that outlets run by the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited (Tasmac) would open on May 7.

The shops would open for business at 10 a.m. and wind up operations by 5 p.m. However, bars attached to Tasmac outlets would remain closed.

A source at Tasmac told The Hindu, “We will not open shops in containment zones. Tasmac workers from containment zones will also not be called for work.” A senior official said that all Tasmac outlets would be disinfected over tghe next two days.

A senior government official said that over the next two days, all Tasmac outlets would be disinfected. “Employees will be given gloves and masks. We will have proper barricading in front of the shops. Tipplers who come without a mask will not be allowed to purchase. We will come out with detailed guidelines on the do's and don'ts before the shops open,” he said. Strict social distancing norms along with personal consumption limits would be followed, he added.

On Monday, the statement issued by the government pointed out that with neighbouring States, including Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, opening liquor shops, people in border districts of Tamil Nadu were crossing over in large numbers to buy alcohol. Crowd management was proving difficult and hence the decision, the government said.

"People have been crossing borders to purchase liquor and in the last few days there have been several complaints pertaining to illegal liquor being made at home and sold in black. The opening of shops will ensure people don't go to neighbouring States or brew liquor," a Tasmac union member said.

During the lockdown, the cash cow of the Tamil Nadu government reportedly lost Rs.85 crore to ₹90 crore in sales per day. Tasmac usually witnesses brisk beer sales during summer. The State has over 5,300 liquor outlets, which employ over 25,000 people.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 7:28:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/coronavirus-lockdown-liquor-shops-to-open-in-tn-from-may-7-with-restrictions-says-govt/article31503234.ece

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