Telangana: Illegal traders behind record sale of liquor

Illegal traders behind record sale of liquor
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 Illegal traders behind record sale of liquor

Highlights

Thanks to the government's decision to impose lockdown in a short notice, the Telangana State has registered the highest-ever liquor sales on a single day on Tuesday a day before the enforcement of 20-hour, 10-day shutdown of the state amid a surge in corona cases

Hyderabad: Thanks to the government's decision to impose lockdown in a short notice, the Telangana State has registered the highest-ever liquor sales on a single day on Tuesday a day before the enforcement of 20-hour, 10-day shutdown of the state amid a surge in corona cases.

Interestingly, the huge liquor sale was not the result of panic buying by the tipplers but by the illegal liquor traders who run the banned belt shops in many interior colonies in Hyderabad and also in remote villages in many districts. The illegal traders have kept huge liquor stocks in their hideouts to sell alcohol at exorbitant prices to the consumers during the lockdown period between 10 am and 6 am every day till May 20.

Top officials of the State Excise and Prohibition department told The Hans India that it has received reports from local excise officials that petty illegal liquor and ID (Illicitly Distilled) liquor manufacturers bought huge stocks of liquor from the licensed wine shops in a just five hours. In old Rangareddy district (Covering Greater Hyderabad limits) alone, the liquor sale was Rs 25 crore followed by old Nalgonda - Rs 15 crore, Khammam -Rs 12 .50 crore and Karimnagar and Warangal reported more than Rs 11 crore liquor sales.

"The total liquor sale on a single day on Tuesday is Rs 125 crore which is the highest-ever in Telangana. Generally, liquor sales were reported high on December 31 and on Diwali and Dasara festivals. The sales would be around Rs 100 crore on festival days ," officials said.

The Excise department has identified nearly 500 illegal liquor sale points in the interior colonies in Greater Hyderabad limits and more than 1,000 belt shops in the villages in the districts. "The department has got information that belt shop owners are reviving liquor sales in the lockdown period In many areas to encash the situation. They already started selling liquor at higher prices to the alcoholics," officials said, adding that in GHMC limits, illegal liquor traders were also active and exploiting the current situation.

A team of Excise task force has been conducting searches to seize the huge stocks of liquor from the belt shops. The licensed liquor outlet managements have been asked to furnish the details of liquor sales on a daily basis to ascertain the running of belt shops in the state during the lockdown.

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