The Maharashtra government on Tuesday has allowed home delivery of alcohol during the nationwide coronavirus lockdown that is in place to battle the coronavirus pandemic. The government has exercised power to allow the home delivery of liquor under Section 139 of the Maharashtra Prohibition Act 1949.
Certain guidelines and precautions need to be followed by liquor shop during delivery.
The decision was made after people started crowding liquor shops in large numbers at several locations in the State flouting social distancing norms. During the lockdown period, the home delivery shall be carried out strictly by the shop owners to only those who have a licence.
The release stated that the license shall carry out the sale and distribution of the international liquor within the area of the licensed premises and a designated hour.
In the course of home delivery, once the COVID-19 test is done, an identity card will be issued to the person doing the home delivery by the excise department. Only a person carrying an identity card is allowed to make a delivery at home. The owner of the liquor shop should also ensure that the person assigned for delivery uses mask and hand sanitizer at regular intervals, the state excise department added.
The service will be open from 10 am on May 14.
This order shall be effective until the lockdown order issued by the Govt from time to time under the 2005 Disaster Management Act or any other act is in force in the State the order further stated.
E-token system for the sale of the alcohol has been launched in Maharashtra already.
Under the new system, a person can purchase a token by registering on the portal of State Excise Departments and then shop to purchase liquor.
This system is based on an application developed by a wholesaler association in Pune and Nashik. Shoppers can download it and place a shopping order from a nearby shop.
As excise commissioner Kantilal Umap has clarified, this service is not available for those residing in Mumbai and Pune, Aurangabad and Nagpur. It is only for areas where the local public body allowed liquor shops to remain open.
Maharashtra isn't the first State to approve of home delivery of liquor. This practice, too, began in states such as Punjab and West Bengal during the lockdown period.