Mavelikkara: In a move to increase liquor sales and improve customer service the Kerala State Beverages Corporation or the BEVCO is planning to open its outlets in buildings owned by Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC).
Based on the proposal submitted by the KSRTC authorities, BEVCO officials have started inspections in many buildings to ascertain the existing infrastructure facilities.
The KSRTC managing director's directive was conveyed by BEVCO authorities to their district-level officers.
BEVCO authorities said that the space and facilities in KSRTC buildings were being examined on the basis of this directive.
"The Corporation has come up with the proposal in the wake of the high court directive to provide better facilities to people coming to purchase liquor from BEVCO outlets," Biju Prabhakar, the chairman and managing director of KSRTC, said.
New buildings would also be constructed for this purpose at some places, he added.
There are facilities for setting up outlets in many of the existing buildings owned by the KSRTC. The transport utility thus stands to gain a good amount as rent.
KSRTC has informed Bevco and Consumerfed that it would construct a new building at Enjakkal in Thiruvananthapuram for liquor sale and other purposes. At many places the BEVCO outlets are functioning in rented private accommodation. The Corporation is paying huge rent for such buildings.
KSRTC authorities aver that this money would come to the Corporation as income besides the consumers too would get better facilities at the outlets.
'There won't be any trouble for commuters'
Meanwhile, Kerala Transport Minister Antony Raju on Saturday said the proposed BEVCO outlets will not cause any trouble to passengers coming to KSRTC depots.
"No one can deny liquor sales at KSRTC buildings if BEVCO get commercial spaces through auction. KSRCT has been looking for revenue from all sources," the minister said.
Raju further said that BEVCO outlets at bus stations won't create any trouble for passengers and special attention will be given to the safety of women.
Convenience for bus riders
As there is no bar on travelling in buses with liquor, KSRTC riders would find it convenient to buy their favourite bottle before boarding the bus.
KSRTC has assured BEVCO that it will provide enough space for people before the outlets considering the likely rush of liquor buyers. In place of a queue a token system would be introduced. One will be able to purchase liquor without any hassles when the turn comes as per the token number.
As such property is found adjacent to the bus depots, the move could improve access to the much-consumed product though the avowed objective of the Left Democratic Front government is to reduce liquor consumption in phases rather than going for a total prohibition!