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Meghalaya removes curbs on liquor outlets, retains them for other shops

By STAFF Correspondent

SHILLONG, June 3 - The Meghalaya Government today came up with a crowd management formula, allowing liquor shops to do business unhindered, but imposed restrictions on shops selling essential items and fruits.

The formula was made applicable in busy areas of the State capital like Police Bazaar, GS Road, Keating Road, Jail Road, Cantonment, Mothpran and Iewduh from today.

In these areas, the State Government wanted to create a mechanism to avoid crowding in the wake of relaxation of the lockdown restrictions for all businesses, barring salons, spas, beauty parlours and malls.

The State Government released a schedule this morning with 35 categories of businesses to reopen in the State capital. Each category has been allotted specific timing and days to open in a staggered manner.

For example, shops selling textile and readymade garments will open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, while travel agencies and shops selling umbrellas and raincoats will open on Fridays and Saturdays.

However, this schedule will not be applicable in Police Bazaar, GS Road, Keating Road, Jail Road, Cantonment, Mothpran and Iewduh.

In these exempted areas, shops were allotted numbers from 1 to 4, and today only shops which were allotted number 1 were allowed to open. Similarly, shops allotted number 2 will open on Thursday and those allotted numbers 3 and 4 will be allowed to open on Friday and Saturday respectively.

From Monday next week, shops that were given numbers 1 and 2 will open, while different other combinations will be followed for the remaining days of the week.

Surprisingly, the district administration has also allotted numbers to shops selling essential commodities, but not to liquor shops.

As the new rule came into effect today, many shops dealing in essential goods and fruits could not open as they were allotted numbers 2, 3 or 4.

On the other hand, liquor shops did business as usual as they have been kept outside the purview of the new rule.

�Liquor shops bring in revenue for the Government, not shops selling essential commodities,� a shopkeeper said.

For quite some time now in Shillong, shops selling essential commodities are only allowed to open from Wednesday to Saturday, but there is no such restriction on liquor shops, which are allowed to open from Monday to Saturday.

Due to the new rule, huge crowds were seen in front of some shops selling essential commodities and fruits.

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