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16 lakh litres of liquor worth ₹62 crores sold in Maharashtra on Day 2

Liquor sales was allowed in Mumbai on May 4 and 5, 2020, but since people flouted social distancing norms despite the lockdown, BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi ordered all liquor shops to close until further notice, effective from May 6, 2020.

16 lakh litres of liquor worth ₹62 crores sold in Maharashtra on Day 2
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On Monday, May 4, 2020, the state government of Maharashtra gave permissions to some liquor shops in the state to sell alcohol. This eventually raised concerns as people queued outside the shop even before it opened, and the number of people only kept adding through the day. As per the report released by the excise department, the state government on Monday generated revenue of ₹11 crores through alcohol sales.

Update on Tuesday showed an exponential increase in the sales, where alcohol worth ₹62 crores was sold, setting a new record. This will help the state earn more than ₹30 crores as excise duty as more than 16 lakh litres was sold on Day-2 post the restrictions were partially lifted in different parts of Maharashtra.

Mumbai and Pune, despite being red zones - due to the number of coronavirus cases - also saw an increase in liquor sale, where people flouted the social distancing norms, waiting for hours in serpentine queues to purchase alcohol. Observing this pattern and demand, BMC commissioner, Pravin Pardeshi released a statement on May 5, 2020, ordering the liquor shops in the city to remain closed until further notice

The order released by the BMC said that the number of people crowding outside the liquor shops, waiting in public, could prove to be detrimental, in these times. This could also raise threats for the potential spread and can lead to further complications, taking away all the advantages of the lockdown, which has been observed so far from March 25, 2020. Keeping this in mind, he revoked all the relaxations in Mumbai and asked the police to ensure compliance in the city.

Further, the state government has also imposed Sec 144 in the city until May 17, 2020, and strict action will be taken against those violating the norms and may face up to six months in jail. Data released by the state health department on May 5, 2020, showed that the number of coronavirus cases in  Maharashtra has crossed the 15,000-mark and Mumbai is also nearing the 10,000-mark.

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