Nagpur: With a day long back and forth and loads of confusion that prevailed over the Excise Department’s guidelines on home delivery of liquor in the light of Wednesday’s order by NMC Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe, the liquor shop owners in Nagpur were still left in tizzy at the end of the day. Even as the District Collector ordered opening of all liquor shops in rural areas, the city liquor vendors struggled to understand fine points of the orders.
As one part of the order mentioned that liquor shops in rural areas can remain open for over the counter delivery while strictly following social distancing norms, the other part reads that shops within municipal limits cannot open shops but can home deliver. It is this point that fluttered the city liquor shop owners and left them in sheer confusion. The order also states the home delivery of liquor to permit holders will be done through whatsapp numbers issued by wine shops, to be displayed outside wine shops.
Pratap Dewani, President, Maharashtra Wine Merchants Association, Vidarbha Wing, said that home delivery is quite impractical but since the government has issued the order, we have to abide. There is no awareness and even we do not have manpower. When the people’s security is being considered, why not delivery boys will ask for security? There are too many complexities in this. “I do not have dozens of computers and staff. Only experts with programmed mechanism can be able to deliver, in which bills are generated online. We are also skeptical about the choices of customers.” He also added that if we are at loss then the government too is at loss. Also the people are not having enough money but even the stock is limited. Moreover the frequent back and forth on decision unleashes panic among buyers.
Dewani said, “We had an assumption that home delivery was just to avoid rush at wine shops. But when the order came it got clear.” Secondly, the customers too would be required to come down to the shops and take the numbers displayed on the shops to order online. “If he can come to shops then can’t he take the delivery,” quipped Dewani. “Also it can be delivered to permit holders only. We also have the facility to issue a day’s permit for Rs 5 at the shop but then the buyers are not allowed to visit the shop. Then how can this be practicable.”
Order confusing, allow permit rooms also to home deliver
Rajeev Jaiswal, owner of liquor shop at Pratap Nagar Square and President of Nagpur District Permit Room (Bar) Association told Nagpur Today, “The order is highly confusing as how do we deliver if we could not get to open shops.” “While the liquor shops in rural areas are allowed to open, shops in city can only deliver liquor to home, but can that be done without opening shops?,” he questioned. Jaiswal who also owns city’s one of the oldest bars – Needos bar, was of the view that along with liquor shops the permit rooms should also be allowed to sell their stocks at MRP in order to save them from loss.
“Many bar owners had piled up beer stock for summer which has only six months shelf life and most of these stocks are nearing expiry. This could save us from some loss.”
He also said that home delivery is not a feasible idea in long run and can spell doom for permit rooms. “Also there will be chances of duplication in the transit,” he added.
Welcome move, but it should be extended to bars
Shriniwas Viyanwar, who owns a couple of country liquor shops in Kanhan, Kandri and Deolapar was however cherished over the decision to open liquor shop, but he also owns a bar and want the stocks to be sold before it gets expired, particularly the stock of beer. “The administration should also look into the home delivery options for bars, as most of us would be willing to sell at par with liquor shops price.”