Lockdown: Kolkata tipplers pay hefty overcharge to buy liquor in black market

Lockdown: Kolkata tipplers pay hefty overcharge to buy liquor in black market
Kolkata, Apr 6 () The nationwide lockdown imposedto contain the spread of novel coronavirus is forcing tipplersin the city to shell out a hefty overcharge to buy liquor inthe black market.

Liquor outlets and bars are shut in West Bengal sinceMarch 25.

In areas like Salt Lake and Dumdum, foreign andcountry-made liquor is being sold several times the MRP.
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"I went to Salt Lake to buy liquor in the blackmarket. They are charging at least Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 morefor each bottle depending on the brand of the liquor," ArupMazumdar, an employee of a private firm, said.
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Taking advantage of the situation, people sellingliquor in the black market are charging a hefty price, a buyerin Dumdum said.

West Bengal Foreign Liquor, Country spirit, OFF and ONHotel Owners' Association secretary Gautam Mukherjee said, "Wehave told our members to abide by the government guidelines.We will wait for the government to allow the liquor shops toreopen."

"Whatever the bootleggers are doing is a social crimeand we urge the government to take strict action against them.The closure of liquor outlets and bars is important in thepresent situation," he said.
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The monthly consumption of foreign liquor in WestBengal is one crore bulk litre and that of country-made liquoris 1.2 crore bulk litre, Mukherjee said.

One bulk litre is equivalent to 12 litres, he said.In West Bengal, there are more than 2,000 'OFF' shopsor liquor outlets, 1,400 bars and 500 'ON' shops were food isserved along with liquor, besides 1,000 outlets selling onlycountry-made liquor, Mukherjee added. DCACD ACD
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