Happy weekends for tipplers in UP now
Lucknow, July 24 (IANS) While the entire Uttar Pradesh will remain locked down on weekends, the Yogi Adityanath government has allowed liquor shops to remain open even during the weekend curbs.
Shops can remain open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on all days but the government has specified that it will not allow drinking in public places.
According to an order issued on Thursday night, the government has allowed retail shops selling beer, model shops, foreign and country made liquor, and bhang to remain open on weekends.
However, this order is not applicable on those shops which are located within containment zones.
UP started implementing restrictions over weekends, from July 10 in view of the rising number of Corona cases in the state.
During this period, all shops, malls, grain wholesale markets and restaurants remain closed in an effort to discourage people from venturing out.
Additional Chief Secretary (Excise) Sanjay Bhoosreddy said that if any District Magistrate wants to alter the time of operation of these shops, he or she can only do so after seeking permission from the Excise Commissioner. This was stated in view of the fact that some district magistrates were taking unilateral decisions regarding closure time of liquor shops.
The Liquor Seller Welfare Association, meanwhile, has welcomed the decision, saying that they had been facing major losses during weekend lockdown.
Kanhaiya Lal Maurya, the General Secretary of the association, said that they had written to the Excise Commissioner on July 15, apprising them of the difficulties they were facing.
“Besides, during this period, various districts had started closing down shops at all hours, anytime between 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., even though there was an order to keep them open till 9 p.m. Secondly, the weekend closure meant that we were losing a lot of our sales and licensees were finding it difficult to meet their monthly quota specifications. This would lead to excise losses for the government too and we had requested that liquor vends should be exempted from this rule,” Maurya said.