New Delhi: The Delhi government on Saturday launched an exercise to open liquor shops in those areas where such activity is allowed according to the latest guidelines issued by the home ministry.
The excise department has directed four government-run agencies, which are responsible to sell liquor in the city, to identify such outlets which fulfil all conditions prescribed by the the Ministry of Home Affairs.
However, liquor shops will not be allowed in COVID-19 containment zones.
Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation, Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation, Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited and Delhi Consumer’s Cooperative Wholesale Store have been given the rights to open liquor shops in public places, except in malls.
The agencies have been asked to provide the details immediately and also give an undertaking stating that liquor shops being allowed to open will fulfil all conditions prescribed by the MHA, according to the excise department.
There are around 450 liquor shops, except those in malls, in the national capital.
In the latest guidelines issued by the home ministry, sale of liquor, paan, tobacco will be allowed after ensuring minimum six-feet social distancing while no more than five people will be allowed inside a shop at a time.
These shops should not be located in markets and malls in urban areas.
In rural areas, all shops are permitted to remain open without any distinction of essential and non-essential.
However, consumption of liquor, paan, gutka, tobacco etc., is not allowed in public places during the lockdown.
On Saturday, the Centre decided to extend the ongoing lockdown by two weeks effective from May 4.
In an order, the Union home ministry said the decision was taken after a comprehensive review of the COVID-19 situation.