Telangana Lockdown: Wine Shop Owners in Dilemma

Though oral instructions were given to the owners to open the shop from 6 am to 10 am, confusion is prevailing among them on how to get stock from depots of TSBCL.

Hyderabad, May 12: Lack of proper guidelines from the Prohibition and Excise department in getting liquor and beer stock from the Telangana State Beverages Corporation Limited (TSBCL) depots during lockdown hours is causing uncertainty among the wine shop owners across the State.

Though oral instructions were given to the owners to open the shop from 6 am to 10 am, confusion is prevailing among them on how to get stock from depots of TSBCL, which supplies stock to all the retail shops in the State, when lockdown is in force.

Since 90 per cent of the stock was already sold on Tuesday due to panic buying after declaring that the lockdown from Wednesday, shopkeepers are in a dilemma on how to get stock from depots. Vehicles carrying liquor stock would not be allowed by the police as it is not an essential commodity.

After closing the shops at 10 am, the owners and staff cannot come back to open the shop to unload stock if a vehicle managed to reach the outlet. “Even if we open the shop for storing stock, chances of booking the case by police under provisions of Disaster Management Act are more,” a shopkeeper said.

At the same time, the owners and staff would be facing difficulties while returning home during lockdown hours, he said. When owners brought the problems being faced by them to the department’s notice, officials said they cannot do anything until they get orders from the higher ups.

Meanwhile, customers continued to make a beeline before the shops after opening at 6 am on Wednesday. In spite of informing them that there was insufficient stock of popular liquor brands like Royal Stag, McDowell’s and Blender’s Pride, customers managed to buy available brands.

Shopkeepers said the panic buying would continue for the next two days and later the situation would normal.

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