Thiruvananthapuram: The virtual queue app that the Kerala government gave the nod for online booking of tokens for getting liquor from vends, appeared to have gone haywire, with people slamming the “ineffective app” and opposition claiming foul play.
The Congress-led opposition has demanded that this “corrupt deal” of handing the app’s development to the CPIM-M’s “fellow travellers” be probed.
Speaking to the media here, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, who has been crying foul over handing over the app to a IT firm, said all that they had been apprehending has now come true.
“We have understood that after this app failed to deliver since it was launched on Wednesday and supplies started the next day… on Friday, also it is the same. It is mayhem, as all rules are being violated and liquor is flowing from bars with no token being asked for. I had given a complaint of this corrupt selection deal to the Vigilance. There was a review meeting and it has been decided to stick with this same company which has fumbled,” he said.
It was on Wednesday evening that state Excise Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan announced that the supplies via a virtual queue through the ‘Bev Q’ app is ready. According to the rules, all those who book their liquor through the app would get a token with which they could have their orders fulfilled from 1,168 liquor vends in the state from 9 a.m to 5 p.m everyday.
A person who has booked once from one mobile number could make his next booking from the same mobile only five days later. Liquor vends include 301 retail liquor shops belonging to the state-run Bevco and Marketfed besides 576 bars and 291 wine and beer shops.
Liquor vends opened on Thursday after a gap of 64 days when those few lucky ones who were able to download the new app and get a QR code, got their favourite brand. But there were issues, which continued on Friday also.
While some got their supply, many did not and on Friday, a few bars were seen selling liquor to those who came even without tokens, leading to huge crowds in such places.
What was even more shocking was some hotels, which have now been turned into paid quarantine centres, witnessed heavy crowding by people who came to buy their favourite stuff from the bar counters there.
Across the state, many people were angry that the app was ineffective.
“This app is humbug. It has been a miserable failure… there is some foul play,” said an angry tippler who did not get his bottle, after the state-owned liquor vend did not honour the token.
Since Wednesday, there have been numerous issues in the efficiency of this app and the social media was having a field day with heavy trolling of the system.
One reason why Chennithala has been crying foul is this is the first time in the state that liquor is being sold in bottles through the bars at the same rate compared to the rates at the state-owned liquor vends and he has alleged that there was a secret deal between the government and the bar owners.
Many had complained that even when there are state-run vends around their locality, the app directs them to the bars.