People flock outside liquor shops across Telangana as they reopen today

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], May 6 (ANI): People formed long queues outside liquor shops across Telangana, hours before the opening time, as the stores opened for the first time on Wednesday since the coronavirus-induced lockdown was imposed.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had yesterday announced that the sale of liquor would be allowed from 10 am to 6 pm at 2,200 shops across the state, except for 15 shops in containment zones.

The manager of a liquor shop in Hyderabad said, "We are ensuring that social distancing is being maintained by the customers. Police are also helping us control the crowd. Some of our employees are also distributing hand sanitizers to the customers in queue."

He also said that they were not selling liquor to anyone who was not wearing a face mask.

However, several people, standing in queues at liquor shops across the state, flouted social distancing norms.

Though the government has hiked the price of alcohol it has failed to dissuade the people from purchasing liquor.

"The government has taken a good decision to reopen the liquor shops. However, we are disappointed with the liquor price hike. Many of us have not had any work during the lockdown. If the price was low, it would have been good for us," said a man standing in a queue at a liquor shop in Hyderabad.

A man outside a liquor shop in Secunderabad, could not contain his joy and started dancing.

"They are queuing us in lines outside liquor shops to ensure social distancing and selling one by one. It is good that the shops have reopened. It should stay this way," said Ashok, a man standing in a queue at a liquor shop in Warangal Urban district here.

Meanwhile, in Burgam Pahad area of Bhadradri Kothagudem district, people put their slippers in queues to avoid standing in the scorching heat and clustered under nearby sheds.

Some residents of the area said that many people also came to buy liquor in Bhadradri Kothagudem district of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh as it is more expensive there. (ANI)