Liquor shops across Jammu witnessed massive rush on Thursday as long queues surprised the wine shop owners with customers waiting for hours to buy liquor on the first day of opening of shops after two months of lockdown.
The authorities had allowed opening of 40 shops in Jammu where people thronged them since early morning and queued up for hours for their turn.
The administration had deployed scores of security personnel including JK Police, paramilitary force personnel and excise department officials to monitor the situation.
In many places, the shop owners and security personnel faced difficult situation in maintaining social distancing where people were eagerly waiting with bags while many bought bottles in dozens.
Jammu Wine Trader Association Working Committee chairman BaldevKhullar admitted that there was chaos and in Gandhi Nagar some shops had to be closed due to massive rush.
“80 to 90 percent of the stocked liquor has been sold in a single day. We have never seen such a rush outside the liquor shops,” Khullar said.
He said the association had requested authorities and excise department to open all 220 liquor shops to avoid rush.
“The opening of only 40 shops attracted huge rush. It was dangerous,” he said, adding that the shop owners were also at risk of being exposed to coronavirus.
“Out of 40 wine shops, only 37 opened. We had deployed excise department employees to monitor the situation,” said Commissioner Excise, J&K, Rajesh Savan.
Savan said more liquor shops will be opened as Rs 2.66 crore of revenue was generated on a single day of sale in Jammu’s 37 shops.