Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that alternate arrangements will have to be made to sell liquor as bars, toddy shops and BEVCO outlets continue to remain shut in view of the lockdown to prevent coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing a press conference on Friday evening, the CM said he has directed the Excise department to probe the possibilities in this regard.
Pinarayi Vijayan added that treatment will be provided to alcoholics and functioning of de-addiction centers will be strengthened.
After the central government announced a lockdown in the country to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Kerala government had shut all liquor outlets in the state including toddy shops. The decision was to reopen the liquor outlets once the lockdown is lifted.
Following a cabinet meeting, the Excise department was directed to probe the possibility of selling liquor online. However, as online sale of liquor would need amendments to the Abkari act, the move was judged impractical under the current situation.
It is in this situation that the Chief Minister sought alternate arrangements to sell liquor during the lockdown.