shortage of liquor due to the closure of Bevco outlets has come as a boon to the illegal traders in the rural areas who stock it in their households and sell it to the needy. Many autorickshaw drivers double as suppliers of the stuff in areas where there are no outlets. Such trade has been thriving during the festival season in spite of the crackdown by the excise department and the police.
It may be recalled that the number of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) outlets in Kozhikode city has come down from 14 last year to five this year.
Many retailers purchase liquor from the Beverages Corporation outlets and sell it in rural areas for double the price. Some homes have also started serving liquor to the selected customers in secret.
“Due to the heavy rush in front of Bevco outlets, most drinkers do not take the trouble to travel to the outlet and stand in queue for buying a bottle,” said K.R. Antony of Peruvayal near Medical College.
“It is easier to buy liquor from the illegal vendors who serve it on the spot. Most of them operate on bikes. In many rural hamlets, autorickshaw drivers now double as Bevco suppliers,”