The liquor sales in Visakhapatnam went up a notch due to the two-day closure imposed by the authorities. The two dry days were imposed on these shops due to the MLC elections and now the Holi celebrations also seem to be contributing to the rise.
Despite the imposed dry days, liquor was reportedly sold at a premium price at several areas in the city and its outskirts. Some even sold liquor from their houses at 30-40 % higher than the MRP. The police have booked two cases in two days against a bar and a restaurant in Akkayappalem and also against two other persons in the city for selling liquor during this period.
As soon as the shops reopened, now people seem to be thronging to restock and with the ending of the ban coinciding with Holi, sales have gone up. Reportedly, there were long queues before the outlets and customers seemed to be in a hurry to procure their chosen brands before stocks ran out.
On an average day, liquor shops see a business of anywhere between Rs 3.5 crore to Rs 4 crore per day, but on March 10, these shops saw a business of around Rs 6.60 crore. The sale of liquor during weekends is Rs 2.5-3 crore and in the weekends it touches Rs 4-4.5 crore – it is rare that it touches the Rs 5 crore mark. 13,898 IML cases and 9197 beer cases were sold in a span of 24 hours. Due to the imposed ban due to MLC elections, liquor shops in the city sold out their entire store by March 7 and restocked before opening on March 10.
An official from the Excise department told The New Indian Express, “The sale figure never surpassed Rs 6 crore in a single day. After two dry days, the sales have zoomed on the reopening day. Generally on December 31 night or the New Year day, we see sales of liquor worth Rs 7 crore, but on March 10, the figures passed the Rs 6-crore mark.”