Tipplers ignore COVID-19 safety norms

 thehindu.com  11/22/2020 20:12:24 

Consumption of alcohol in the open, despite restrictions, continues to be a menace near the Thirumayilai MRTS station. People continue to gather in large numbers by the side of the Canal Bank Road throwing personal distancing norms to the winds and consuming alcohol in groups in the open. The police and local administration turn a blind eye to this problem despite several complaints, say local residents.

There are three Tasmac liquor outlets adjacent to one another on Canal Bank Road near the Thirumayilai MRTS station.

Every day, hundreds gather here to buy alcohol and most of them drink standing near the parapet of the Buckingham Canal.

This is one of the routes for residents of Pallaku Managar to reach the R.K. Mutt Road. For years, women and children have found it hard to walk past the people who stand on the road, for close to 200 metres and consume alcohol. They even stand in front of a doctors clinic and drink. Patients are put to hardship, said S. Vinoth, a resident.

Residents said the danger had become manifold during COVID-19. People drink, spit on the road and have turned the stretch into a urinal. For the first few days, tokens were issued in the shops and personal distancing was ensured for purchasing liquor. Now no such system is followed, he said.

Women from Pallaku Managar said the area remained peaceful during complete lockdown. It was neat as the shops were closed. Outside the shops, people sell plastic glasses and water packets. Everything is finally dumped into the Buckingham Canal, said K. Jaya, a resident.

Residents complained that policemen do not patrol this locality. We are surprised as the beaches are still closed, but such Tasmac shops are open despite flouting personal distancing. The Greater Chennai Corporation should fine them, she added. Staff from Tasmac said that earlier there were six more shops in Mylapore. But only these three remain now. Hence people from other parts of the locality come here and drink. We cannot force them to go elsewhere and drink as it will endanger our lives. Already people quarrel outside the shop, said a salesman.

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