New Delhi, May 8(PTI) Booze lovers continued to throng liquor shops in the city, even as the e-token system introduced by the Delhi government could not fully take off due to heavy traffic on the designated website.
The government is also considering options of contactless sale of liquor such as through home delivery, during the lockdown period, a senior government official said.
The Supreme Court on Friday asked states to consider non-direct contact or online sales and home delivery of liquor during the lockdown period to prevent the spread of coronavirus on account of crowding at the shops.
A weblink for e-token system was launched on Thursday by the government to bring order at liquor shops witnessing huge crowds and violations of social distancing norms during lockdown.
Delhi Home minister Satyendar Jain said that there were some issues with the site that are being worked out.
'We have launched the e-token service for buying liquor from yesterday and there are some issues with the site which are being worked out,' he told reporters.
The government weblink for geting e-tokens to buy liquor got crashed repeatedly as soon as it was launched on Thursday evening due to record traffic, said an official.
Many people who tried to register for e-tokens met with failures despite repeated attempts.
'I tried unsuccessfully to register for e-token and spent over an hour on Thursday but the site was crashed. I also tried it in the night, but to no avail,' said a hospitality professional from Mayur Vihar.
Some buyers complained that their e-token were for advance dates.
'After trying for hours, I finally registered for e-token on my mobile phone around 2 am. But, the time given for buying liquor is Sunday afternoon,' said a hardware engineer from Preet Vihar.
There were also complaints of some persons having valid e-token but finding it difficult to get liquor due to heavy crowd at shops.
An official, however, said liquor shops had been asked for separate queue of e-token holders.
A person may register on the government weblink giving details like mobile phone number and address and name of a liquor shop. An e-token is sent on the registered mobile number with specific time for buying liquor from the cited shop.
With the Centre allowing relaxations under extended lockdown to the states, the Delhi government allowed sale of liquor from 200 vends operated by its four corporations earlier this week.
With huge crowds at the liquor shops throwing social distancing for a toss, the government raised liquor price by 70 per cent of its maximum retail price but the situation remained more or less same.
Also, due to massive crowds and fears of coronavirus spread due to violations of social distancing, only 50 of 200 shops could open. PTI VIT CK