Kerala tipplers’ long wait nears end, Google accords nod for virtual queue app

South India

Bringing cheers to tipplers in Kerala, Google has on Tuesday (May 26) given its nod for mobile virtual queue management app to be used for buying liquor from the state-run retail outlets and private bars and wine parlours across the state.

The app called Bev Q will provide a token along with time for procuring Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL). All liquor outlets were closed in the state as part of the nationwide lockdown two months ago. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is expected to announce the date of reopening the outlets during his post-Covid-19 press meet later in the evening.

The app developed by Kochi-based startup Faircode Technologies Private Limited will soon be made available in the Google Play Store. Only people who have smart phones will be able to download and use the app. Officials of the State Beverages Corporation (Bevco), the state-run distributor of IMFL in the state said that they will make arrangement to introduce token through SMS for those who have no smart phones.

The government decided to regulate the sale of liquor through virtual for ensuring social distancing norms. Impatient tipplers had been bombarding the social media pages of the app developer with witty and sarcastic comments ever since they were chosen for developing app.

The Congress-led opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) has alleged corruption behind the government’s decision to award the contract for developing the app to the startup company without the required technical knowhow. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the contract had a provision to pay 0.50 paise for each bottle sold by bars and beer and wine parlours to the developer.

He said that this will allow the company to make millions of rupees against Rs.5-10 lakhs they have spent on developing the app. Bevco and the company representative have denied the allegation.

Image Credit: The Hindu

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