Thiruvananthapuram: Liquor sales in Kerala are likely to resume only by next week as the launch of the much-awaited Bev Q app, for buying alcohol through a virtual booking system, has been delayed yet again.
Google has sought an explanation on the app of the Beverages Corporation (BEVCO), prior to its publishing on the Play Store. Six questions were asked on the security aspects of the app. The Bev Q will get approval only if the explanation given was found to be satisfactory.
The BEVCO has asked startup company Faircode, that developed the app, to give an explanation on Friday morning itself.
If the firm replies to the queries, the app is expected to get the approval by night. Then the testing and trial will be done. And the excise department is making arrangements to resume the liquor sales in the state on Monday.
The app was submitted for listing on Google on Monday (May 18) evening. It was expected that the approval would be given on Tuesday itself. Authorities had decided to make the app available for consumers soon after testing. However, the approval was not received then.
The Kerala government had decided to develop the app for buying liquor when alcohol sales are resumed in the state. The liquor outlets were shut after the COVID-19 lockdown was imposed.
As many as 551 bars and 260 beer and wine parlours have given consent letter to BEVCO to sell alcohol as takeaways. For each token issued, bar, and beer and wine parlours have to give fifty paise to the startup company, that developed the app.
Why the delay?
Normally, the approval for an app is given within one or two days. However, Google has put up a notification that the approval procedure can be delayed by up to seven days due to the COVID-19 crisis and security reasons.
Several procedures are involved to publish an app on Google Play Store.
First, the app file has to be uploaded via a Google Play Store developer account that has to be bought for 25 dollars. Earlier, a special software of the Google carried out the security checks. Now, this is done by Google employees. If any flaw is spotted, the app will be allowed to publish only after it is rectified.
Google's special permission is needed to read the SMS, use the call log and access the contact list.
Earlier, it took just an hour to update an existing app. Now this can take up to three days.
Swiggy delivery in Ranchi
Meanwhile, popular online food delivery platform Swiggy has begun the home delivery of liquor in Ranchi in Jharkhand. Swiggy said that the service will be extended to other cities in Jharkhand soon.
Also, that the company was in talks with other governments on starting home delivery of liquor.