At a time when people are facing numerous problems owing to lockdown and weekend shutdowns clamped to break the Covid-19 chain, several government liquor outlets in Kendrapara district are allegedly flouting the guidelines with impunity.
It is alleged that several government liquor shops in Rajnagar and Pattamundai blocks are carrying out business even after the deadlines.
Local residents alleged that the shops needs to be shut by 1 pm as per order. However, the liquor selling units are operating beyond the stipulated time. Apart from this, several liquor shops are also open on weekend shutdown (Saturday and Sunday) in these parts of the district, they alleged.
“The liquor units are openly violating Covid-19 norms. They are also not following the timings or weekend shutdown restrictions and selling liquor in clandestine manner,” Chandramani Nayak, a local resident alleged.
Nayak said that the liquor units are operating beyond the specified hours. Apart from this, the shop owners are also charging over and above the MRP.
Another local resident, Ramesh Mohanty, said, “The Police and Excise department officials are to be blamed for such irregularities.”
"When citizens are following the guidelines and are being harassed and fined by police for any deviation, the liquor shops are blatantly violating the guidelines with impunity,” said Mohanty.
Meanwhile, the Excise Sub-Inspector, Pattamundai, said, “At present, we have no specific complaints regarding such violations.
Paikray further said that appropriate action will be taken against the shops who will be found violating government orders. “We don't have enough staff which it is creating problems in carrying out other works,” he added.