Thiruvananthapuram: The long queues before BEVCO outlets will soon be a thing of the past! Soon, boozers in Kerala will be able to walk in to the nearest swanky outlet, choose their favourite bottle of liquor, pay money without jostling before the counter or even send money digitally before walking out holding a neat carry bag rather than wrapping the spirits in an old newspaper roll.
A refreshing change in your liquor purchasing routine is round the corner as the Kerala State Beverages Corporation or BEVCO has issued orders to convert all its outlets to premium ones. The existing ones can go for an upgrade or shift to a spacious commercial property.
BEVCO has set August 1 as the deadline to convert the current outlets to premium ones.
The Regional Managers have been entrusted with the task of conversion of the facility. A circular of the managing director warns of disciplinary action against regional managers for failure.
As per the guidelines, the premium outlets will occupy a space of 2,000 square feet.
At present, 163 out of the 267 BEVCO outlets don’t have walk-in facility.
The 68 outlets that were shut down earlier too will resume functioning as premium ones.
The new liquor policy envisages conversion of all BEVCO outlets to premium ones.
Last year the Kerala High Court had called for treating BEVCO customers in a dignified way. It wanted the Excise department not to treat alcohol buyers as “cattle”.
“You (Excise department) are a statutory authority. You have to ensure that those coming to purchase liquor at these shops are not treated as cattle and those who watch liquor being sold like this are not subjected to ridicule or embarrassment,” Justice Devan Ramachandran had observed while issuing the order.
In 2017, the court had directed the state government and BEVCO to ensure that no nuisance is caused to businesses and residents near liquor-selling vends.
It was in 2013 BEVCO opened its first premium liquor outlet. The facility in Thiruvanathapuram has self-help counters.