It is the spirit: They rush in despite being overcharged
By Express News Service - CHENNAI
13th September 2012 08:31 AM
The rise in prices of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) sold through wine shops in the state hasn’t deterred tipplers from visiting the dimly lit bars near the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited (TASMAC) liquor shop.
The dingy bars filled with smoke wear a festival look at night as busy waiters serve the liquor with added refreshment to customers from all walks of life.
“The prices haven’t affected the crowd. Those who want to drink won’t mind shelling any amount of money,” says a waiter at a bar near Arumbakkam.
But some customers do feel the pinch. Ravi, name changed, says a drink in the Tasmac shop costs more with bar owners fleecing the customers.
A plastic cup which costs at the most 50 paise, is charged `5 at the bar while a bottle of mineral water which costs less than `18 is priced at `25, he says.
Nearby, a group of beer drinkers also complain about their beer not being chilled. “They sell the beer for more than the price it has to be sold and that also without serving it chilled,” complains a beer drinker. A beer at the bar costs `5 extra from the original price.
It is learnt that the day the liquor prices were hiked, Tasmac employees had a filed. “There was no price list and whatever the shops quoted was the fixed price,” says an employee who doesn’t want to be quoted.
He said the supervisors who earn Rs 1,000 a day earned as much as Rs 3,000 quoting their own prices as people were unaware of prices.
With the price list available, Tasmac shops still charge additional Rs 5 for a beer while a McDowell’s brandy which costs Rs 80, is priced at Rs 82.
People also complained about the lack of hygiene in the Tasmac bars. But then most of them don’t have any alternative but to drown their sorrows with a pint or a quarter. ”
Irrespective of the brand or MRP, beer is sold for Rs 100 flat at Velachery and Madipakkam areas,’ says Santha Kumar, a consumer.
If chilled beer is sought, Rs 10 is charged over and above the already inflated price of Rs 100.
The pity is, often the so called ‘chilled beer’ is not cold as the refrigerator is switched off most of the time to cut cost in most outlets. So, fleecing consumers is going on unchecked.
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