TASMAC shops reopen with social distancing, police protection

Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited (TASMAC) liquor outlets in Chennai reopened today after a long gap of four months, with strict social distancing measures and police protection in place.

Expecting a mad rush of tipplers, when 640 liquor shops within the limits of Greater Chennai Police are reopened after 145 days, the authorities of TASMAC, the liquor monopoly in the state, have decided to deploy additional staff on a temporary basis to handle the situation.

The shops will be allowed to operate from 10 am to 7 pm from Monday to Saturday. Sales will be limited to 500 customers a day, with 500 tokens to be distributed everyday at each outlet. TASMAC outlets present inside malls and containment zones will continue to remain closed.

TASMAC, the only retailer, which is authorised to sell Indian made foreign liquor in Tamil Nadu, said that only 500 tokens shall be issued per day to consumers. It is mandatory for the tipplers buying liquor to maintain social distanv=cing norms and follow all the rules related to coronavirus guidelines.

On Monday, barricades were erected before the outlets and circles drawn to ensure that six feet of distance is maintained between every two customers. A public address system will be used to regulate the crowd and police assistance has been sought for crowd management. The shops will operate between 10am and 7pm.

DMK president M K Stalin and AMMK supremo TTV Dhinakaran said ‘No’ to the opening of liquor shops in the area under Greater Chennai Police limits today, saying that it would lead to an increase in the spread of Coronavirus.

Even after knowing that opening the TASMAC shops outside the Chennai limits was a prime reason for the spike in Covid-19 cases, it is a mistake to open them in the city also, Stalin said in a tweet.