COVID-19: Home delivery of booze to start in Mumbai

Updated: May 23, 2020, 09:42 IST | Phorum Dalal | Mumbai

People in Red Zones will be allowed to order from authorised and neighbourhood liquor stores; containment zones will remain sealed

Customers had crowded liquor shops, like this scene in Kurla, when they had opened for two days earlier this month. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Customers had crowded liquor shops, like this scene in Kurla, when they had opened for two days earlier this month. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Mumbai, a Red Zone, will finally get its liquor through home delivery in all areas, except for containment zones. After much discussion, permission has been given to sell liquor online.

Liquor in sealed bottles will be allowed for delivery only at residential addresses.

Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal issued an order on Friday stating that excluding in containment zones, liquor shops can deliver sealed liquor bottles to customers' homes. The order makes it clear that the over-the-counter sale of liquor is not permitted. Liquor shops are allowed to utilise all e-commerce platforms for home delivery.

Central and state governments had given permission for the sale of liquor on May 3, at the start of lockdown 3.0. But two days later, the then municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi ordered all non-essential goods shops, under which liquor shops fell, to shut due to overcrowding and violation of social distancing.

Chahal has ordered that all state government and Excise Department's guidelines be strictly followed. The jurisdictional state excise officers and ward officers will ensure compliance of the orders of the civic chief.

While in Thane and Vashi they started last week, Moksh Sani, Managing Director, Living Liquidz India Pvt Ltd confirmed deliveries in Mumbai will start on Saturday. "The BMC, Excise Department and police have okayed the move."

"When we started delivering liquor in Vashi last week, on day one, only nine out of 30 liquor shops were open. It is not easy for every store to start. They need their backup as people have gone to villages and it is not easy to find delivery boys," Sani said.

The BMC order is applicable to retail wine shops. PIC/SHADAB KHAN
The BMC order is applicable to retail wine shops. Pic/Shadab Khan

The order allows e-commerce platforms to be utilised by liquor shops for home delivery. "But we will do our own delivery through store employees," says Sani.

The current relaxation granted by BMC for home delivery is applicable only for FL-II or retail wine shops. "Similar relaxation hasn't yet been granted by the BMC to the bars and restaurants, who were also permitted to sell sealed bottles by the Excise Department," said Anurag Katriar, President of NRAI (National Restaurant Association of India). However, sources say, offloading of pending stock for restaurants and bar to liquor shops may begin by Monday.

'Landmark move'

A customer can order 12 bottles, which can be a mix of spirits, wine or only two cases of beer (24 bottles). Customers will need either a lifetime permit (see box) or a daily permit costing R5 which the liquor store will generate with the bill. "Delivery of alcohol is a landmark move for the lockdown period," said Sani.

Moksh Sani, managing director, Living Liquidz India Pvt LtdMoksh Sani, managing director, Living Liquidz India Pvt Ltd

Udit Sethi of Hops Cork has 16 stores in Mumbai. "We are prioritising the health and safety of our employees, home-delivery boys and customers. We have sanitised and deep-cleaned all operational stores. Delivery boys will undergo a daily temperature check, wearing a mask and gloves, carrying pocket sanitisers to sanitise the delivery box before giving it to the customer," said Sethi, who added that they will encourage IMPS and card transactions to ensure minimum contact.

According to a Zomato spokesperson, the food-delivery app has started alcohol delivery services in Jharkhand and is in advance stages of discussions with other state governments. "We have received the order in Mumbai and are analysing it for further action. We look forward to partnering with the liquor retail industry to enable safe and compliant delivery of alcoholic beverages in Mumbai," he said.

Get your lifetime liquor permit here:

Order Here

Living Liquidz
Call: 6900064000/7700000770
Area: across Mumbai barring containment zones

Hops Cork
Call: 7400007676 / 8879700001 / 9930602345
Minimum order R3,000
Area: Bandra, Juhu, Lokhandwala, Goregaon, Andheri East, Ghatkopar, Chembur and Matunga
Time: 10 am to 6 pm

Inputs by Prajakta Kasale

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