Delhi’s liquor vends go out of stock ahead of new excise policy

An empty liquor shop in Delhi's Mangolpuri area

An empty liquor shop in Delhi's Mangolpuri area

Long queues of tipplers at liquor shops in neighbouring states

New Delhi, Nov. 15 (Delhi Crown): No liquor is available at liquor vends in the national capital for the past two days, even as the new excise policy is slated to be implemented with effect from Wednesday (Nov 17).

The staff employed at these vends sit idle throughout the day with no work. They say their future remains uncertain.

Due to non-availability of liquor here, Delhites can be seen at liquor vends in the neighbouring cities like Gurugram, Sonepat, Noida, Ghaziabad, etc. in search of liquor.

An empty liquor shop in Delhi’s Mangolpuri area

Long queues of Delhi’s tipplers can be seen at these neighbouring towns/cities. The rush increases as the evenings get darker, even as liquor shop owners in these towns/cities continue to do a brisk business.

Presently there are 849 such liquor stores in the national capital divided into four different departments. Out of the total 276 are run privately, while the Delhi Government operates the rest through its agencies.

In the next two days, the Delhi Government would officially withdraw from the alcohol business in an attempt to bring in “more transparency, revenue and service quality”.

Under the new policy, all 849 vends have been allotted to private firms through open tenders. There are 26 municipal wards in Delhi where no liquor shops will open after September 30 as these were catered to only by private shops. Additionally, there are 80 wards that do not have a liquor vend. Under the excise policy, the Delhi government divided the city into 32 zones, and bid the liquor vends there for an equitable distribution of retail liquor business in the city.

Each zone comprises 8-10 wards, and will have around 27 vends.

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