New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) The national capital on Monday witnessed chaotic scenes after liquor shops re-opened after a long gap with the lockdown entering its third phase.
Since early morning, people started thronging the liquor shops in many parts of the city, often throwing social distancing norms to the wind. People were seen gathering outside liquor shops in the Malviya Nagar area from as early as 9 a.m.
Due to the nationwide lockdown to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, liquor shops across the country were closed since March 25. Nearly 150 liquor shops were opened in the national capital in the third phase of the lockdown on Monday.
After the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notification announcing relaxations, liquor shops were opened across the country, and people were asked to follow strict guidelines of social distancing while purchasing liquor.
However, going by the photos and videos from various areas in south Delhi, it is apparent that commotion has erupted outside many liquor vends, as scores of people thronged there to buy liquor.
Mohit Gupta, a resident of Malviya Nagar, said that people started gathering outside liquor shops in the main market from as early as 8.30 a.m.
"Many were without masks, violating the social distancing guidelines. It might lead to a major law and order issue. We expect Delhi Police to take action on this issue," said Gupta.
Long queues were seen outside liquor shops in the Lajpat Nagar area. Similarly, a large crowd had gathered outside the liquor shop in Lado Sarai, which led to traffic jam in the area.
"People had left their vehicles on the road outside the liquor shop, as everybody was in a rush to buy booze. People were wearing masks, but they were not maintaining sufficient distance while standing in the queue," said Ankit Kalra, a resident of Lado Sarai.
The liquor shop at Sheikh Sarai Phase 1 had to pull down its shutter, as the crowd became unmanageable as the staff at the shop feared large-scale commotion.
"Since early morning, people started gathering outside the Sheikh Sarai liquor shop. People were sitting together in large groups waiting for the shop to open. Due to overcrowding, the shop shut down within a few hours," said Luck Agarwal, a resident of Sheikh Sarai Phase 1.