While liquor shops are not permitted in Chennai, Tasmac officials had instructed the staff to open a limited number of shops in the neighbouring four districts. However, since vehicle movement has been restricted and people booked for venturing out, the shops are wearing a deserted look.
The elite Tasmac shop in Mahabalipuram, which witnessed long queues until the day before the stringent lockdown came into effect on June 19 and made business for up to Rs 90 lakh a day, hardly saw any customer in the past few days. “Usually, people coming from Chennai and tourists buy liquor from this elite shop. But since the vehicle check has been intensified, nobody turns up here. The locals too go to the regular Tasmac shops,” said a staff member on condition of anonymity. Apart from the elite shops, there are four normal Tasmac outlets open for full 10 hours, but there too the patronage has been poor.
While 60 Tasmac outlets have been opened in Kancheepuram South which also includes Chengalpattu, 13 shops are open in Kancheepuram North. In Tiruvallur district, no shops have been allowed in the East, but the exact number of shops open in Tiruvallur West is not available. However, the villagers in Ponneri division said very few people walk up to the Tasmac shops since the police do not allow people to travel by bike.
While the Tasmac shops in Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram sold liquor worth Rs 1.5 crore approximately daily, the sales in the last few days are projected to be 10% or lesser than the approximate figure.
However, Tasmac and police anticipate huge crowds to throng the shops again once the stringent lockdown is withdrawn after June 30 and has kept barricades and pathways intact.
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