Thiruvananthapuram: The wait for tipplers in Kerala is finally over as the supply via a virtual queue through the ‘Bev Q’ app is ready.
All those who book their liquor on their mobile phone will get a token and get their orders fulfilled from 1,168 liquor vends in the state from 9 a.m. on Thursday.
A person who has booked once from one mobile number can make his next booking from the same mobile only five days later.
State Excise Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan on Wednesday said the app is now live and all can book their liquor needs from their mobile.
“One can book one’s needs on one’s mobile from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. everyday and it can be collected from 1,168 outlets from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., starting tomorrow,” he said.
Liquor vends include 301 retail liquor vends belonging to the state-run Bevco and Marketfed besides 576 bars and 291 wine and beer shops.
No vends will be opened in containment zones.
“Those who get the token on the mobile have to come to the vends. All the health protocols including social distancing have to be maintained. At a time, only 5 people will be allowed to collect their supplies. Masks and use of sanitiser at these places is a must. There will be only parcel services where bottles would be packed and given from the bars, wine and beer shops. No table service will be there at bars, wine and beer shops where liquor would be served,” added Ramakrishnan.
He said 29 companies had come with a proposal for the virtual process and two committees of the state government short-listed five companies and finally Faircode Technologies was selected.
“Faircode has been paid Rs 2,84,203 for their services and if this is there after one year, a fresh payment will have to be made to them. This service is available on all mobile and SMS services also are there for those who do not have a smart phone,” said Ramakrishnan.
Ramakrishnan also denied allegations of corruption levelled by Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala about unfair play in selecting the vendor for developing the Bev Q app.
In this new set-up, the state government will soon come out with a similar delivery mode to numerous licensed clubs across the state.
Sale of liquor and beer is one of the biggest revenue earners in Kerala. In the last fiscal, the southern state garnered Rs 14,504.67 crore on this count.
An earlier study conducted in Kerala revealed that around 32.9 lakh people – 29.8 lakh men and 3.1 lakh women – out of the state’s 3.34 crore population consume liquor. Around five lakh people consume liquor daily. Of these, 83,851 people, including 1,043 women, are addicted to alcohol.