Kerala's BevQ liquor store app expected to go live soon

The app to buy alcohol in Kerala has got Google’s approval to be uploaded on PlayStore.
Kerala Bevco outlet queue
Kerala Bevco outlet queue
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The app to buy alcohol in Kerala is finally ready to be uploaded on Google PlayStore. 
Kochi-based company Faircode Technologies developed the app and got the approval from Google to upload it on PlayStore. “We got the approval on Monday night and it is now awaiting the government’s nod to be uploaded,” says Rajith Ramachandran, Chief Technology Officer of Faircode.

The app is named BevQ – a name that the Beverages Corporation (BevCo) had earlier denied adopting. However, several media reports had claimed it to be so and the app has finally been named so, says Rajith. 

Even as several other states have reopened liquor shops following the relaxation of lockdown rules in early May, Kerala did not do so and instead wanted to develop an app.

As many as 1,200 outlets across the state – including Beverages outlets and bars – would be selling liquor through the app. Each outlet can have 450 orders a day, with a maximum of 50 people allowed to queue up in an hour, and 5 people in front of the outlet at any given point. The outlets will function from 9 am to 5 pm. A person who took a token through the app will not be given another for the next four days. 

Depending on the token number, the applicant will get a place in the queue at an outlet they choose. The government has strictly said that people without tokens should not come to the outlet and they will not be given liquor.

The wait for the outlets to open appears to have been all too much for Malayalis who went on Facebook pages of Google and Google’s Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai, commenting with memes and messages, asking to please approve the app. And now, with the approval, there are more comments thanking them.

The app has also run into controversy with Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala earlier alleging that in the agreement between the government and the company it was written that the latter would get Rs 50 paisa per token, including SMS charge. In the agreement, it is said that, "the above expenses will be paid to the solution provider and others initially by the Corporation with applicable taxes and the share amount payable by us at the rate above considering the number of token issues will be reimbursed to the Corporation as and when a debit note is raised for the same by the Corporation."

However, T P Ramakrishnan - Minister for Labour and Excise, told the media that the 50 paise is paid to Bevco and only a part of it is given to the app. “Bars, consumer fed stores and beer and wine stories have to pay Bevco 50 paisa per token. Faircode pays per sms to the service provider, those charges will be reimbursed to them. Of the 50 paisa that Bevco gets, 0.15 paise goes to the sms provider,” he said.

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