The dates of opening alcohol stores in Kerala have not been announced by the Kerala government as yet.

Man at a BevCo outlet purchasing liquor Image for representation
Coronavirus Alcohol Sunday, May 17, 2020 - 08:01

The dates of opening the Beverages Corporation (Bevco) outlets in Kerala post the COVID-19 lockdown have not yet been declared. However, preparations are being made for setting a virtual queue system in place, once the outlets are open.

Bevco Managing Director Sparjan Kumar told TNM that a Kochi based company called Faircode Technologies has been entrusted with the job of developing an app for the virtual queue system. “Once the company provides us with the final product and the government decides on the dates to reopen the outlets, we’d put it in place,” he said.

Read: Disinfect liquor outlets and warehouses: Kerala’s Bevco prepares for post-lockdown

The app is in the final stages of testing now, says Faircode Chief Executive Officer Vishnu. “There is obviously going to be a heavy load (of requests) and we are making sure that the app can handle that,” he said.

He explains that the users making requests through the app will be given a token number on a first-come-first-serve basis.

“Depending on the token number they would get a position in the physical queue outside the respective Bevco outlet. And these positions will be predetermined, with the required social distance maintained between them. How many people will be allowed in each outlet and other such details will be decided after the government gives a mandate,” Vishnu says.

Post the lockdown, many parts of the country had allowed liquor shops to start functioning again. However, the Kerala government took a call to delay the reopening of the outlets, taking into consideration the chaos it created in other states.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced later that the toddy shops in Kerala would open on May 13. However, the shops that opened on May 13 had to soon close down after their stock of toddy was sold in a flash. The toddy availability has been considerably less post the lockdown.

Read: Why Kerala toddy lovers will have to wait more for their favourite drink

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