Tamil Nadu government made a whopping Rs 170 crore from the liqour sales in just one day as Tasmac(Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation) outlets opened to long queues on Thursday. On a normal day, the state would sell liquor worth Rs 80 to 90 crore on average. The shops were closed due to the lockdown and people grabbed the bottles from both hands when the stores were opened after a gap of more than a month.
The revenue came from just 3,700 of 5,146 Tasmac shops and people in liquor industry believe that it would have crossed the Rs 200-crore mark had the government opened Chennai shops. A 15-20 per cent increase in liquor sale was recorded in Madurai, Tiruvallur and Coimbatore as people braved pandemic fears to score the booze.
On Wednesday, the Tamil Nadu government had announced to increase the excise duty on Indian made foreign liquor by 15 per cent. The next day, the state opened retail liquor outlets even as the cases of coronavirus continue to rise rapidly.
People defy pandemic fears to score booze
The liquor outlets across the state opened to long queues. Several videos on social media showed people standing in long queues while police struggled to maintain order and social distancing. In some places, police even resorted to lathi-charge to control the crowd.
The government's decision to open liquor shops has also triggered fears amid the coronavirus pandemic. A section of people had opposed the move and warned the state government that it can result in an uncontrolled rise in coronavirus cases.
The Madras High Court issued guidelines and asked the state to ensure not more than five people gather at liquor shops. The court also said that the practice of social distancing must also be followed. Tamil Nadu has more than 3,500 coronavirus cases and so far, 31 people have died from the COVID-19 disease.