No home delivery of alcohol in West Bengal, says Kolkata police
Several news organisation including some regional and national ones had reported that the West Bengal government had allowed home delivery of alcohol during nationwide lockdown.
Amidst reports of possible extension of the nationwide lockdown to curb further spread of COVID-19, people of West Bengal got very excited with the "news" that the West Bengal government will be allowing home delivery of alcohol during the lockdown. But Kolkata police has denied any such claim and clarified that there will be no delivery of alcohol, according to Anandabazar Patrika.
Some Bengali news channels too broke the news attributing to Kolkata Police that orders have to be placed over phone between 11 AM and 2 PM, and delivery will be done between 2 PM and 5 PM. Even some news portals had reported so.
This news spread like wildfire that one will be able to get alcohol delivered by calling their nearby On Shop/Off Shop/Bar/Restaurant from April 9. It was being said that liquor shop owners would have to approach local Police Stations for obtaining passes and the police stations would issue maximum three passes for each liquor shop.
But Kolkata Police commissioner Anuj Sharma has told Anandabazar Patrika that Kolkata police has not given out any such order and that it is "wrong information".
According to some reports there was a consideration by the state government to allow home delivery of alcohol by including it under the list of essential items, but due to a lack of consensus among the decision makers, it was not followed through.
Last week, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had asked police officials to allow home delivery of groceries and essential items during the lockdown that has been put in place to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“Home delivery of all essential items to continue, all Police stations are being asked to allow this, do not stop it. SPs (superintendent of Police), DMs (District Magistrate), BDOs (Block Development Officer) have to take responsibility. Many senior citizens are there. Do not stop home delivery. Contact the local Police or Lal Bazaar,” the Bengal leader said.
Mamata had stressed that there was no scarcity of food and that people should not resort to panic buying. With social distancing being the new norm, Mamata also said people should not crowd together while buying essential items. She also appealed to people not to resort to boycotting anyone working in the healthcare sector.
“There should be social distancing but it does not mean isolating mankind. If a doctor is working closely for COVID-19, but the landlord says he won’t allow him in the house, this should not happen. I do not want to hear this. There should be no social boycott. If anyone is getting fever, call the local Police station, they will take steps. Do not do any social boycotting,” Mamata had said.