Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government is going to open the liquor shops in the State.

As a preparatory for the opening of the liquor shops, the government has allowed the liquor/distilleries and breweries plants in the State except Sundergarh and Balasore to start production.

The district collectors have, meanwhile, permitted the bottling units to resume production. This came following the letter from the State excise commissioner Anjan Kumar Manik.

“It is requested to accord permission at your level to the respective bottling/breweries units in your districts to resume production strictly adhering to the latest COVID-19 guidelines, the State excise commissioner Anjan Kumar Manik had written to the collectors of 11 districts, where the bottling units are located.

There are about 22 bottling/ distilleries and breweries plants in the districts of Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Jajpur, Rayagada, Sambalpur, Puri, Khurda, Koraput, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack and Balangir besides Sundergarh and Balasore in Odisha.

Following the relaxation of the lock down norm, the State government had proposed to open the liquor shops in the State. However, the liquor vendors are reluctant to open the shops on the plea that there would not be adequate supply of liquor as bottling units are shut down.

The Wine Shop Owners’ Association had asked for 15 days time for reopening of the shops.

Meanwhile, a PIL has been filed in the Odisha HC for opening of the liquor shops in Cuttack city.

The Ministry of Home Affairs lock down guideline has allowed opening of liquor shops in green and orange zones. Several States, including Delhi and Punjab, have already opened shops.