Even as Chennai and neighbouring districts experienced continous rain, tipplers walked through waterlogged roads and thronged Tasmac shops for their daily quota. On Friday evening, it was sales as usual at one of the outlets in Egmore belonging to the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited. A person-in-charge said, “Sales, have infact, increased marginally over the last two days.”
Pockets near market areas including, the Thyagaraya Nagar, Koyambedu and Chintadripet witnessed sales as usual. The manager of one of the outlets said, “Since it started raining, consumers are buying liquor in the afternoon itself and stocking it. Sales are stable for us at this outlet,” he said. “Those who come during the rain use the bar attached to our outlet,” he added.
Two Tasmac officials, when contacted, said that there was no data available for the last three days. The Managing Director could not be reached for his comment. On average, Tasmac sells liquor worth ₹68-₹70 crore per day. Post price hike in October this has touched ₹75 crore (per day), said a Tasmac union member.
Managers of Tasmac outlets in Thiruvanmiyur, Guindy and Anna Nagar said that sales usually went up during rain.
A resident of West Mambalam, said, “The Tasmac shop on Lakeview Road is never closed even if it rains heavily. Men who drink there sometimes sleep on the pavement outside shops and it could be dangerous if there is too much waterlogging.” Some residents in other areas of Chennai said that Tasmac should atleast close shutters during rain for safety reasons.