Come hell or high water, the state-run liquor shops were open in many parts of the city and the brisk business has not gone unnoticed.
Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) shops selling liquor have been functioning without a stop for the past one week, even in areas that saw varied levels of flooding. In some places, women volunteers were reportedly harassed by inebriated customers.
TASMAC shops in Nungambakkam, Choolaimedu, Anna Nagar and Arumbakkam have been functioning from 11AM to 10PM for the last week, except for the few hours when they were shut due to water-logging or blocked roads. Several Twitter users too posted about the shops being open and harassment on account of customers.
Its really sickening to see liquor being supplied to #TASMAC shops even in this floods, Govt shall use that manpower in relief works instd.â Ethirajan (@Ethirajans) December 5, 2015
A staff member from a TASMAC shop on Sterling Road told The News Minute, âWe have been open on all days from Monday. We just shut the shop for few hours when there was heavy water-logging inside the shop.â
In what may be extreme inexplicable dedication to his work, a senior staff member from Choolaimedu TASMAC shop said, âEven if one of the staff in the shop dies still I will open the TASMAC shop.â
Velu, a customer who frequents the shop which is located in Shanti Colony said âThe shop was only shut on Tuesday because the whole Shanti Colony road was shut due to water loggingâ, said Velu, a customer at the shop.
Business as usual
Business in these shops has also been good. âThe customers have been equivalent to the normal days and business has been goodâ, said a worker from Choolaimedu TASMAC shop.
Manu, a customer at a TASMAC shop in Shanthi Colony, said that prices did not shoot up, unlike those of essential products such as torches and batteries which were being sold at exorbitant prices in many flooded parts of the city.
âPeople are ready to buy liquor by paying the same amount and the shop is full of customers,â Manu said.
No supply shortages either
Even though the people in the city have been running out of food and water in their houses, liquor brands in many TASMAC shops were in stock. Says a staffer in a shop in Choolaimedu, âWe have stocked all the brands of liquor in our shops and our business has been good in the past one week.â
While many parts of the city have seen tragic instances of people being marooned those who may not have faced flooding were even travelling to localities in order to get the brands they preferred. Venkatesh, a resident of Aminjikarai said, âI travelled from Aminjikari to Shanthi Colony in Anna Nagar as I am not getting good quality liquor thereâ.
@sandygrains Hearing complaints on this from all areas from friends and cousins everywhr. After 5 roads r dark and unsafe for women Volun.â Lavi (@Lavy81dec) December 5, 2015
But the bar owners, however, seem to be facing losses due the heavy rains and consequent flooding. âMost of the customers come, buy the liquor and go back home, no one uses the bar in the shop which is a loss for usâ, said a bar owner from a TASMAC shop in Nungambakkam.