Hyderabad: Liquor shops across the State registered record sales on Tuesday as liquor, including beer, worth over Rs 125.41 crore was sold within four hours following the announcement of lockdown from Wednesday.
Since Tuesday morning, sales were in the normal volume but after the lockdown decision was announced in the afternoon, customers started rushing to liquor shops to stock up. As the day progressed, large serpentine queues were seen at the shops.
Managing the crowd became difficult for the shopkeepers at many places in the evening as customers jostled with each other to buy the stock. The hapless shopkeepers then called in police patrolling teams to manage the surging crowd.
Such was the rush at a few shops in twin cities that a shopkeeper literally requested customers to maintain proper queue with physical distance with a hand-held public address system from inside the shop. However, customers did not relent and continued to jostle to buy the stock.
By 8 pm when the night curfew started on Tuesday, shops sold 90 per cent of the liquor and beer stock leaving behind only premium brands. According to officials of Telangana State Beverages Corporation Limited (TSBCL), the wine shops registered a sale of liquor and beer worth Rs 125.41 crore on Tuesday.
Khammam and Nalgonda, which share a border with neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, registered high sales. Liquor and beer worth Rs.12.78 crore and Rs.12.56 crore was sold in Khammam and Nalgonda districts respectively on a single day on Tuesday.
Liquor and beer worth Rs 9.33 crore was sold in Hyderabad. Officials said Khammam and Nalgonda districts registered more sales probably due to bulk purchase of popular liquor brands like Royal Stag, McDowell’s and Blender’s Pride.
A few customers could have made bulk purchases to sell it in black to persons known to them during lockdown and cash in on the demand. Officials said wine shop owners purchase different brands of liquor and beer from the 19 depots of TSBCL in the State after making payments online.
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