Guwahati: Following the lead of some north Indian states and neighbouring Meghalaya, the Assam cabinet decided to allow online sale and home delivery of liquor, but within the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) area.
Briefing media after the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said that the decision was taken on an experimental basis for a month to avoid crowding outside liquor shops and counters in view of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.
“We took this decision after witnessing crowding in front of liquor outlets during the non-curfew timing. The experimental step was also taken following the directives of the Supreme Court and the Madras High Court,” he told the media.
Assam’s Covid positivity rate has been ranging between 1.53 per cent and 1.74 per cent during the past one week with 263 positive cases (highest among the 34 districts) on Thursday night in Kamrup Metro district that encompasses the corporation area measuring about 217 square km and with population of around 11 lakh.
The Supreme Court last year left it to the states to consider online sales and home delivery of liquor during the Covid-19 induced lockdown period to avoid crowding and violation of Covid protocols.