a rare navratra sight: At Mansa Devi Temple in Panchkula Wednesday. Jaipal Singh
UTTER CHAOS and confusion prevailed on Wednesday as most of the residents did not receive ration and essential items, a day after the administration claimed that such items would be delivered at the doorstep during the curfew period.
Residents claimed that the phone numbers for home delivery on the list circulated on social media were either switched off or were constantly busy. In some sectors, milk was being made available through tempos. Earlier in the day, people flocked to the milk booths defeating the purpose of social distancing.
UT Adviser Manoj Parida said that teething problems will occur but things are being streamlined. Later in the evening, he said, “The plan of providing essential items, including groceries, medicines, fruits and vegetables, has been finalised. These items will be provided to the residents at their doorsteps through government and private carriers. No individual will be allowed to come to shops for purchase of essential items. The shops will be used as a distribution and storage point for carriers to pick up in carts or autos. The first list of the shops along with contact details will be uploaded shortly on the website of the Chandigarh Administration.”
R K Garg, a resident of Sector 27, Chandigarh, said, “After the lockdown and clamping down of curfew in Chandigarh, I have received numerous calls and messages for no supply of foods/vegetables in many sectors. The harried senior citizens called repeatedly at the mobile numbers of designated staff of Municipal Corporation but most of the time phone was found busy or switched off. There was no supply of vegetables and fruits in many sectors.”
He added, “Not only this when I called almost two dozen senior citizens, I found that elderly staying alone or with spouses are suffering the most because they are not getting their maids, attendants or drivers.”
Garg said that there are other cases in Sector 11, Sector 37 and Sector 27 where senior citizens need help.
Nirmal Datt from Chandigarh Housing Board Welfare Association said, “It is a very frustrating experience for the common man as we called the number of the vendor for Sector 47 about two dozen times and found it busy. Then I sent my grocery list on WhatsApp to this number. It reached there, but not read yet. Other friends are sharing their despair from different sectors and tell me that in certain cases the number of the vendor is switched off.”
Datt added, “To streamline the supplyline to the whole city is extremely simple if vendor goes to the sector market and ask the provision store shopkeepers to sit inside their closed shops, ready to receive orders on phone directly from their permanent customers. Then the customers who buy from one partucular shop of their choice can order on the phone to that shop they habitually go to. So no one shop will get crowded, it will be one shopkeeper each for his customary clients, as is the case on normal days.”
UT orders mobile ATM vans
Further, it was decided that no retail sale of fruits and vegetables will be allowed in mandi (Sector 26) and the wholesale market will only function to maintain the supply chain.
The administration said that it is clarified that no individual is allowed to visit any shop for direct purchase of essential items. The residents can only place order telephonically for delivery of essential items at their doorstep. In case anyone is found violating the provision, then strict legal action would be taken against both the individual and the shop owner as per law.
It was also decided that four mobile ATM vans will be made functional in a few days, which will visit different parts of the city. The city residents would be allowed to avail the facility at their doorsteps in fixed hours.
List of chemist shops for home delivery
The UT Administration said that to ensure that medicines are available to the residents, the administration had taken steps to further facilitate the process of home delivery of medicines.
The first list of chemist shops that will provide home delivery of medicines is uploaded on the website of the Chandigarh Administration and the same can be accessed on the following links: http://chandigarh.gov.in/pdf/dhs20-chemistlist20.pdf and http://chdcovid19.in/uploads/1585146808-dhs20-chemistlist20.pdf.
UT to open retail grocery shops
The Chandigarh Administration has taken a decision to open all retail grocery shops. The first list with contact numbers of retail grocery shops that will provide home delivery of groceries is uploaded on the website of the Chandigarh Administration and the same can be accessed on links http://chandigarh.gov.in/pdf/dpr20-karyanalist20-1.pdf and http://chdcovid19.in/uploads/1585153282-general-store.pdf.