Tipplers throng TASMAC shops ahead of Section 144 in Tamilnadu

Chennai: Before the closure of TASMAC outlets across the State as part of prohibitory orders under Section 144 due to the outbreak of coronavirus, tipplers thronged the shops in large numbers to purchase their favourite brands of liquor.

There was a last minute rush in almost all TASMAC outlets, and, cashing in on the demand, salesmen at many shops sold liquor bottles at additional prices.

“Normally, Rs 10 extra would be charged per quarter bottle. But, today, I had to shell Rs 25 more at the liquor shop located close to Guindy railway station,” said a customer.

Another tippler said, “I bought a full bottle and a half bottle since I don’t know when the shops would be reopen and I had to pay Rs 150 extra. This is unfair. The government should act against its erring staff.”

All Tasmac liquor shops in Tamilnadu will remain closed from 6 pm today till 31 March when a lockdown will be in force in the state to combat spread of Covid-19. Sources said the state government had issued an order for closure of the liquor outlets.

As per a government order, all bars and clubs serving liquor in the state have been remaining closed since 17 March to prevent mass gathering. However, state-owned Tasmac outlets continued to operate, except on 22 March in view of “janata curfew.”

Also, safety was stake at TASMAC outlets since there was huge rush. However, a manager claimed that the department had provided all kinds of safety gear to shops and that social distancing was being maintained at the stores.

NT Bureau