A Tasmac outlet at Kodambakkam
CHENNAI: Months after Tasmac liquor shops in the city and its suburbs were shut as part of the lockdown, indications are that the shutters could be up soon.
A fresh coat of paint has been given and wooden barricades erected outside a few outlets for crowd management on the lines of the system in place across the state.
A long barricade was installed in front of an outlet at Little Mount, Saidapet, on Saturday, while that put up outside shop 518 in Kodambakkam the same day was later removed.
Of the 330 outlets in the core city, closed since March 25 when the lockdown began, some in Central and South Chennai show signs of opening. Once open, they could add about 12 crore in revenue every day to the state’s coffers. The nearly 900 outlets in Chennai zone, comprising the city, Chengalpet, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts, account for 25% of the total income through sale of liquor in Tamil Nadu. The remaining 4,400-odd account for the rest. Currently, the outlets open across the state have been bringing in 100 crore in revenue daily.
The outlets ion localities bordering Chennai and beyond the jurisdiction of Greater Chennai Police are also gearing up to open. An official privy to the developments said at least 200 outlets on the fringes of the city, outside the purview of Greater Chennai Police limits in Chengalpet, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts, could be reopened by June 8. “The stocks are available and we are waiting for nod from the government for commencing sale,” the official said.
When contacted, R Kirlosh Kumar, managing director of Tasmac, the sole liquor monopoly in the state, denied the possibilities of liquor outlets being reopened in Chennai.
“The government orders are very clear about not reopening wine shops in Chennai,” he said. Queried about wooden barricades installed before some shops, he said the one outside an outlet at Kodambakkam had been removed.