Apr 11, 2020

Home delivery of alcohol allowed in West Bengal

The West Bengal government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that it will allow home delivery of alcohol across the state amid the ongoing lockdown over coronavirus pandemic. The state’s excise department said that there was a provision for home delivery of alcohol as there is no prohibition of sale of alcohol in the state.

However, in the lockdown situation, passes will be issued to persons engaged in delivery by the local police station, it added. It may be recalled that alcohol has been included in the list of essential commodities in states like Kerala and West Bengal.

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier said that the state-run, Kerala State Beverages (Manufacturing and Marketing) Corporation Limited (Bevco) liquor outlets will continue to remain open amidst the coronavirus nationwide lockdown.

But customers will not be allowed to sit and drink. The counter sale would be allowed on a later date if needed. Apart from state-run liquor stores all other bars and private liquor stores across the state will be closed due to the growing number of coronavirus cases in the state, the Kerala CM said.

Similarly, a directive by the Chief Minister of Punjab declared the supply of beverages as essential items, along with groceries in light of the urgency due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Mamata Banerjee had last week asked police officials to allow home delivery of groceries and essential items during the lockdown that was put in place to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Home delivery of all essential items to continue, all Police stations are being asked to allow this, do not stop it. SPs (superintendent of Police), DMs (District Magistrate), BDOs (Block Development Officer) have to take responsibility. Many senior citizens are there. Do not stop home delivery. Contact the local Police or Lal Bazaar,” the Bengal leader said.

Mamata stressed that there was no scarcity of food as people were out on the streets resorting to panic buying. With social distancing being the new norm, Mamata also said people should not crowd together while buying essential items. She also appealed to people not to resort to boycotting anyone working in the healthcare sector.

“There should be social distancing but it does not mean isolating mankind. If a doctor is working closely for COVID-19, but the landlord says he won’t allow him in the house, this should not happen. I do not want to hear this. There should be no social boycott. If anyone is getting fever, call the local Police station, they will take steps. Do not do any social boycott,” Mamata said.

The West Bengal Chief Minister also announced that night shelters will be open for the homeless and poor people, where civic authorities and Police will reach food. Community kitchens have also started functioning.

- zeenews.india.com