Instructing state-owned liquor shops to ensure they have sufficient stocks to fulfill demand from October 1 to November 16, the Delhi government on Thursday said it has directed these outlets to release payments to suppliers on time so that the supply chains don’t get choked during this period.

Ahead of the implementation of the new excise policy in mid-November, private liquor shops will not be operating in 105 of the 272 municipal wards of the national capital between October 1 and November 16.

“Delhi is going to witness a transition phase in the liquor management. We expect that in a situation where sufficient supply is maintained, crowding or any other incidents will not take place. We want to reassure the public that they do not need to hoard or rush to stores in this situation as all government-owned shops will continue to function,” a Delhi government statement said.

During this time, only government liquor shops will function in the capital. There are total 849 liquor stores in Delhi, of which 276 are privately run with the rest being operated by Delhi government agencies, an official said.

Many liquor store owners had stopped purchasing new stock so as to exhaust their existing inventory by the month-end after which their shops will be closed.

As per the Delhi government, fresh bidding was carried out to take over the liquor vends across the city, meaning those who earlier possessed liquor vend license but could not win the bid this time will now not be able to stay in the same business.

With an aim to change Delhi residents’ liquor buying experience altogether, the state government, under its new policy will renovate the liquor shops, commonly called ‘thekas’, which will now not have windows opening towards the road. The shops, which will start operating from November 17, will be given a complete new look wherein people could walk in and shop.

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