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Kerala govt to keep beverage outlets open, bars shut

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

: The Left government

on Monday decided to allow outlets of the state-run beverages corporation to sell liqour, while shutting down bars across the state in the wake of the spread of COVID-19.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced the decision after a COVID-19 review meeting here.

"Beverage outlets will remain open, We have had some bad experiences when the government stopped the sale of liquor. It will create many social issues," Vijayan told reporters.

Coming down against the decision, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said this shows the government's adamant attitude against shutting down all liqour outlets which would push the state further into a dangerous situation.

It was only after the realising that the situation was worsening, the government decided to indefinitely shut down the bars in the state, Chennithala said.

In many districts, people were seen queuing up before beverages outlets in large numbers, this would only help in spreading the coronavirus.

At Thiruvananthapuram, a man employed in a beverages outlet was under observation, he said.

At Vatakara in Kozhikode, there was a huge crowd in front of a beverages outlet and police had to wave lathis to chase them away.

Chennithala also criticised Chief minister for pointing at Punjab, where the beverages outlets had not been shut as they had brought it under the essential list.

This was not a right approach, Chennithala said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 23 2020. 21:22 IST