The bars attached to TASMAC-run liquor stores in Tamil Nadu will be allowed to reopen from November 1. This was announced by the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) Ltd. The bars attached to TASMAC shops had been closed since the second wave of COVID-19 hit the country in early 2021.
The TASMAC Managing Director, L Subramanian in a circular sent to regional managers and district managers said that all standalone bars attached to the liquor shops can commence functioning from November 1. The bars are allowed to function from 10 am to 8 pm. However, those TASMAC liquor stores and bars that are in containment zones will not be permitted to open.
The TASMAC MD also directed the regional managers and other officers to adhere to strict Standard Operating Protocol (SOP), including compulsory face masks, physical distancing, and sanitisation, in the liquor stores and bars.
Sources in TASMAC told IANS that the decision would increase the revenue of the corporation in a significant manner. TASMAC had netted a revenue of Rs 465.79 crore during the two-day Deepavali sale in 2020 and on Deepavali day, alone, the revenue collected was Rs 237.91 crore.
In 2019, during Deepavali and the day preceding it, the TASMAC collection was Rs 355 crore.
While TASMAC management is insisting on standard protocol at the bars attached to the liquor shops, those who manage the shops said it is not possible in a practical manner to adhere to SOPs.
An official within TASMAC in Chennai who wished to remain anonymous told IANS, â€śIt is practically impossible to maintain the Standard Operating Protocol. Who will listen to us? And if we insist? It will lead to scuffles and will require police intervention.â€ť
TASMACâ€™s Managing Director was not available for comment.
However, Greater Chennai Police (GCP) told IANS that police would patrol all the TASMAC outlets and will take action against those who are not adhering to COVID-19 protocols.
Tamil Nadu has 5,300 TASMAC shops with daily collections ranging from Rs 130 crore to 140 crore on a regular day but during the festive season, like Deepavali, the collection doubles.