Kerala Mulls Home Delivery As Liquor Vends Are Closed

Thiruvananthapuram: When it comes to the needs of the Kerala tipplers, the ruling Left government appears to have a soft corner. With the second Covid wave hitting the state hard and the sudden decision to close down all liquor vends on Monday till further notice, now Bevco is mulling home dZelivery of premium brands.

Bevco – the state owned- Kerala State Beverage Corporation is the sole wholesaler of beer and liquor in the state.

Top officials of Bevco are now working out on how home delivery can be done and to start with, they are mulling the delivery of only premium brands after collecting service charge.

According to sources, in all likelihood this could well begin very soon.

An earlier attempt for home delivery, last year when the country was under lockdown due to arrival of the Covid virus, came under stiff resistance and then came the novel idea of booking one’s requirement through an app.

Even though the app had numerous shortcomings, tipplers managed and heaved a sigh of relief when the Covid surge came down, bars opened again and now with the second wave peaking, the wheel has turned the full circle and all vends are closed till further notice.

Across the state the number of liquor vends include 301 retail liquor shops belonging to the state-run Bevco and marketed, besides 576 bars and 291 wine and beer shops.

The profile of liquor users in the state in an earlier study reveal that around 32.9 lakh people out of the 3.34 crore population in the state consume liquor, which includes 29.8 lakh men and 3.1 lakh women.

Around five lakh people in Kerala consume liquor on a daily basis. Of this, around 83,851 people including 1,043 women are addicted to alcohol, according to state government statistics.

Incidentally for fund starved Kerala, revenue on liquor and beer is one of the biggest cash cow and in the last fiscal it received over Rs 15,000 crore and hence the state will have to take care of its tipplers.