Guwahati/Shillong: All liquor shops and wholesale warehouses in Assam and Meghalaya will open from today for limited hours, official orders said on Sunday.
In Assam all liquor shops and wholesale warehouses will remain open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the permitted days while these will open from 9 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. from April 13 to April 17 in Meghalaya.
Excise officials of the two states would supervise and monitor the business and works of these liquor shops, wholesale warehouses and permitted establishments. Additional Commissioner of Assam Excise Department S.K. Medhi in a letter to the Deputy Commissioners of all 33 districts said that the state government has approved opening of India Made Foreign Liquor shops, wholesale warehouses, bottling plants, distilleries and breweries across Assam with effect from Monday subject to compliance of 10-pont guidelines.
"These liquor shops may work with bare minimum staff and provide hand sanitisers to customers and staff while handling the bottles and cash. The owner and management of these shops and other permitted installations would be responsible for deploying their staff to ensure social distancing. The owner and management of these permitted installations have to strictly follow all the directives issued by the National Health Mission of Assam with reference to COVID-19," said the letter, available with IANS.
It said that the liquor shops, wholesale warehouses, distilleries, breweries, bottling plants shall work with bare minimum staff (not more than 50 per cent) and the permitted establishments must arrange to keep their employee and workers within their campus and arrange food and other amenities for them.
The letter also said to keep the workers and staff at a designated place nearest to the factory premises, arrange transportation for the staffs and workers from the designated place to the factory by observing all the COVID-19 guidelines, obtain vehicle passes from the deputy commissioners of the respective districts for transportation of liquor consignments.
"Any violation of the guidelines issued in regard to COVID-19 would invite cancellation of the excise license," Medhi's letter said.
In Shillong, in a separate decision, the Meghalaya government has allowed the opening of wine shops and bonded warehouses from Monday.
Meghalaya government's Commissioner of Excise in a letter to Deputy Commissioners of all 11 districts said that maintaining social distancing the wine shops and bonded warehouses can be opened from 9 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. from April 13 to April 17.
The letter stated that the owner of the wine shops would be made personally responsible by deploying their staff to ensure social distancing. "Only one person per household would be allowed to visit a wine shop for the purchase and the movement from one locality and one village to another locality shall be prohibited. The wine shops may function with bare minimum staff and provide hand sanitizers to customers and staff while handling bottles and cash," it said.