When did wine shops become an emergency service?
One wonders when did wine shops become part of emergency services! Generally hospitals, water and electricity department were declared as emergency services.
Entire city was shut, except emergency services as per Govt orders
Wine shops operating as open bars in the city is not new. But to everyone’s surprise several wine shops in the city were open and did brisk business on Tuesday when the entire city was ordered to be shut down except the emergencies services. One wonders when did wine shops become part of emergency services! Generally hospitals, water and electricity department were declared as emergency services.
Even as families took the opportunity to stay at home and made the most of the holiday, tipplers headed to roadside wine shops to have a swig.
Most offices, schools and colleges remained closed and the roads wore a deserted look, but at most junctions, a motley crowd of tipplers were seen. Ashok, a daily wage labourer, said that he could not do without a drink and was sure that the shops would be open. “Many advised me to buy a bottle in advance but I was sure that the shops would be open. See for yourself,” he said gleefully.
Sai (name changed on request), a partner of a wine shop in Alwal, said, “We paid a lot of money to get licence and cannot afford to lose business.”
Wine shop owners did brisk business and did not see any threat from excise officials. According to Telangana excise JAC leader Srinivas, “Wine shops were up and running because it was not a declared dry day. Also, the GHMC, which is the nodal agency, didn’t instruct the excise department to shut down wine shops.”
In Secunderabad two wine shops, one at Paradise and another at Picket, conducted usual business at unusually high prices. Cigarette packets were also sold at Rs 10-20 more than the MRP.
People were seen getting drunk and passing out in front of liquor stores, though the government had prohibited drinking in public and deemed it punishable.
A resident of Picket said that he had called the Karkhana Police Station and filed a complaint to close the liquor shops, but the shop at Picket was still found open and busy selling alcohol. He also alleged that this wine store had become a nightmare for women and girls in the evenings and late hours as they were subjected to eve-teasing, harassment and other untoward incidents.