Liquor flies off the Bevco shelves as outlets reopen after lockdown

People queue up outside a Bevco outlet in Thiruvananthapuram.
People queue up outside a Bevco outlet in Thiruvananthapuram. Photo: Rinku Raj Mattancheriyil

Thiruvananthapuram: Liquor sales skyrocketed in Kerala on Thursday, when the outlets reopened after several weeks as part of lifting the lockdown imposed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shops operated by the Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) across the state reported sales amounting to Rs 52 crore, compared to the daily average of Rs 49 crore. Incidentally, 40 of Bevco’s 265 outlets remained closed on Thursday as they were located in areas where the test positivity rate (TPR) was above 20 per cent.

Thenkurussi leads

Bevco’s shop at Thenkurissi in Palakkad district recorded the highest sales with Rs 69 lakh. According to officials, the outlet attracted more customers as it is located near the Tamil Nadu border. In the second place was the Bevco shop at Power House Road in Thiruvananthapuram with Rs 66 lakh and in the third spot was the Irinjalakuda outlet, which sold liquor worth Rs 65 lakh.

Consumerfed outlets

Similar business was reported from outlets under the Kerala State Cooperative Consumers’ Federation (Consumerfed) also on Thursday, with the total sales crossing Rs 8 crore, compared to the daily average of Rs 6-7 crore. However, three of Consumerfed’s 39 shops in Kerala did not open in view of the COVID-19 protocols.

Among the outlets that functioned, the one at Alappuzha led with sales of Rs 43.27 lakh, followed by Kozhikode with Rs 40.1 lakh and Koyilandy with Rs 40 lakh.

MD’s directive

Meanwhile, Managing Director of Bevco Yogesh Gupta IPS said that orders have been issued to follow COVID-19 protocols strictly during liquor sales. A circular also has been issued mentioning the guidelines to be followed by employees in Bevco outlets, he added.

No data on bars

At the same time, the government is yet to obtain details of the liquor sales that took place in hundreds of bars across the state on Thursday.

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