INDIA – The state government of Maharashtra is planning to legalize online sale and delivery of liquor at home in the state, the first in the country that will see sale of alcohol on ecommerce platforms.

Such a bold move represents the government’s effort to control drunk driving, Times of India reports.

“The main objective is to reduce growing cases of drunken driving due to which there have been many accidents and resulted in great loss of lives.

The alcohol would be delivered home through platforms similar to national and international e-commerce websites.

Just like citizens are getting groceries and vegetables at home,” said Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Minister of State for Excise to TOI.

According to the new policy, sellers will take complete details of customers, including Aadhaar numbers, through which their identity and age can be verified.

The minister said liquor bottles would be geo-tagged to keep track of their manufacture and sale, to curb smuggling.

“The tagging would be done on the cap of the bottle. We can track the bottle all the way from the manufacturer to the consumer. It would help curb sale of spurious liquor and also smuggling,” he said.

A 2015 report by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) showed that 1.5% of 464,000 road accidents were caused by drunken driving or drug driving, resulting in injuries to 6,295 people and 2,988 deaths.

Alcohols would be delivered home through platforms similar to national and international e-commerce websites while consumers would be able to get alcohols just the way they get groceries and vegetables at home.

This is an opportunity for ecommerce firms taking advantage of consumers whose lifestyles are continually getting busy.

Commenting on the government’s move, high court lawyer Shreerang Bhandarkar said: “Apart from reducing instances of drunken driving, it would also generate employment for youths who deliver the product.

Moreover, it would offer unlimited choice to consumers and ensure that quality is maintained.”