Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal on Friday allowed online sale of liquor through home delivery in the city from Saturday. However, the service – to be allowed from 10 am to 6 pm – will not be allowed in containment zones.
Officials said the shops selling liquor can use e-commerce platforms for home delivery. Customers, however, would be able to avail the services only from Sunday at the earliest, as liquor retailers have to take permissions from the Mumbai collector and excise department for the same.
Also, delivery will be allowed only for liquor permit holders. Those who do not have permits need to register on the website of the excise department and get a permit number, which has to be mentioned while placing orders.
BMC’s order stated that excluding the containment zones, shops selling liquor in sealed bottles will be permitted to operate via home delivery. The shops have been asked to strictly follow government guidelines. “Under no circumstances, over the counter sales of liquor can be permitted,” the order stated.
Liquor shopowners said that they would utilise their own staffers for home delivery to cut costs. Association of Progressive Retail Liquor Vendors said shopowners would paste WhatsApp numbers outside their shops, at which customers can place orders. Customers will pay after delivery by cash, debit or credit card as the delivery personnel will be given POS machines.
“Since BMC has given its nod, we will approach the collector’s office and the excise department to complete formalities. We will use our staff for delivery. We hope that by Sunday, delivery will start. Also, we are not planning to take help of e-commerce services, as profits will be meager that way,” said Arvind Miskin, the association president.
The designated delivery personnel have to be daily screened for Covid-19 symptoms. While shops will provide all details to the excise department of those who would go for home delivery, the staffers would also be provided with identity cards so that they are stopped by the police on the road. The delivery persons should also be given hand sanitizers, mask and gloves, the order added.
State Excise Commissioner Kanitlal Umap could not be reached for a comment.
On May 14, the government had allowed online sale of liquor in the state. However, Mumbai and some other Covid-19 hotspot cities were excluded from the order. The last time Mumbai had allowed liquor shops to open, they had to be shut within 24 hours due to large crowds thronging shops and violating social distancing norms.
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