Mangaluru, May 05, 2020: With the government permitting the sale of liquor, customers cutting across age and religion were seen patiently waiting for their turn in long queues at most liquor outlets across the district on Monday.
Many tipplers were seen wearing masks, more from the need to remain unidentified, than anything else. But, the social distancing norm went for a toss at many outlets located in Kavoor Junction, Thokkottu, Uppinangady, Mudipu, Bantwal and other places across the district.
Many witnessed long queues being formed even before the shops opened for sales.
According to the instructions of Deputy Commissioner of Excise, as many as three staff persons manned the wine shops.
Two security personnel in each outlet sprayed sanitisers on the hands of customers before they bought liquor. Barricades were placed and markings were made on the floor to ensure customers practised social distancing. Women were also found standing in the queue to buy liquor along with men.
In fact, an elderly woman came with a ration card to an outlet in Mangaluru to buy liquor. On the first day of the lifting of ban, 65,751 litres of IML and 43,586 litres of beer was sold across 185 liquor outlets in Dakshina Kannada district, Deputy Commissioner of Excise Shylaja A Khote told DH.
‘Govt acted in haste’
Just hours before the opening of liquor outlets across the state, Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari Dr D Veerendra Heggade had passionately appealed tipplers to take a pledge to reject alcohol.
“About 89 percent of 9,400 people, who had participated in a survey conducted by Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project and Akhila Karnataka Janajagruthi Vedike, had said that non-availability of liquor in their areas has had a positive impact on their lives,” stressed Dr Heggade quoting the findings of the survey.
The survey also found that society can function without liquor. Akhila Karnataka Janajagruti Vedike director Vivek V Pais said the government had acted in haste in permitting the sale of liquor.
“Even District In-charge Minister Kota Srinivas Poojary, when contacted, had expressed helplessness and said the decision to lift the ban on the sale of liquor was the government’s collective decision,” said Pais.
However, the disciplined manner in which customers stood in the queue to buy liquor made us believe that anti-liquor campaigns had some impact on their lives, he added.