Chennai: After a week's hiatus, sale of alcoholic beverages resumed in non-containment zones of Tamil Nadu on Saturday amid police security except in State capital Chennai and neighbouring Tiruvallur.
As part of measures to avoid crowding and ensure social distancing, authorities implemented colour-coded token system that specified the date and time allotted for the buyers at a designated outlet.
To prevent unmanageable crowds witnessed in several places when the shops reopened on May 7 after a 43-day dry spell, the authorities limited the number of tokens per day to 500 and 70 for an hour. The shops are open from 10 am to 5 pm.
Adequate police personnel were deployed to regulate crowd and tokens were distributed at separate locations away from the liquor shops and only those who had the coloured slips were allowed to buy beverages at the outlets.
Across the state, booze sale is on at a brisk pace as men sporting masks stood in serpentine queues maintaining individual distance in most places. The crowds were moderate as well in several locations in districts including Coimbatore.
Several men could be seen standing with umbrellas in districts like Erode, Tirupur and at Madurantakam in Kancheepuram district.
The liquor sale is open across the state in non-containment zones and except Chennai and nearby Tiruvallur district which saw huge number of people converging in several outlets when shops reopened on May 7.
The shops functioned only for two days (barring Chennai and a string of neighbourhoods under city police control though they fell under Chengelpet, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts) and were shut since May 9 following Madras High Court directives which ordered closure of shops over flouting of guidelines likesocial distancing.
At least 34 outlets in nearby Chengelpet district including those in Mamallapuram, Tiruporur, Tirukazhukundram and Vadanemelli that saw huge crowds on May7 and 8 were also closed today.
Additional police personnel were deployed at the exit/entry points to Chennai to prevent people from venturing out of here to neighbouring Kancheepuram district to buy booze....