Chennai: The Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Ltd (TASMAC) has directed the bars attached to its vending shops, to reopen from November 1.
The Tasmac Managing Director, L. Subramanian in a circular to all regional managers and district managers said that all standalone bars attached to the retail vending liquor shops can commence functioning from November 1. The bars are allowed to function from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. However, those Tasmac shops that are in containment zones are not allowed to open.
Tasmac MD also directed the regional managers and other officers to adhere to strict Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) including compulsory face masks, social distancing, and sanitization while opening shops.
Sources in Tasmac told IANS that the decision would increase the revenue of the corporation in a large manner. The bars attached to Tasmac shops were closed during the second wave of Covid-19 in early 2021.
Tasmac had netted a revenue of Rs 465.79 crore during the two-day Diwali sale in 2020 and on Deepavali day the revenue collected was Rs 237.91 crore.
In 2019, the Tasmac collection was Rs 355 crore during the sale on Deepavali day and the day preceding it.
While Tasmac management is insisting on Standard protocol at the bars attached to the liquor vends, those who manage the shops said it is not possible in a practical manner to adhere to SOPs.
An official with Tasmac in Chennai who does not wish to be named told IANS, “It is practically impossible to maintain the Standard Operating Protocol. Who will listen to us and if we insist it would lead to fisticuffs and will require police force to be deployed.”
Tasmac Managing Director was not available for comment.
However when contacted Chennai City Police said that the police would patrol all the Tasmac outlets and will take action against those who are not adhering to Covid protocol.
Tamil Nadu has 5,300 Tasmac shops with daily collections ranging from Rs 130 crore to Rs 140 crore on a normal day but during festive season like Deepavali, the collection is doubled.