Constable on duty in Panchkula amid the coronavirus outbreak. (Express photo)
The Punjab Police on Wednesday launched several initiatives to facilitate door-to-door supply of essential goods through strategic tie-ups with Zomato, Swiggy, Verka, Amul, Mandi Pradhans, and chemist associations, state police chief Dinkar Gupta said.
As a result, door-to-door supply of essential goods could be started in many districts, while similar delivery mechanisms were being worked out in others too. Passes were also being issued to authorized vendors, Gupta said in a written statement, adding that for home delivery of medicines, in particular, necessary tie-ups were being made with the respective chemist associations.
The DGP appealed to "the people and the media to show some patience as arrangements on such a large scale need time for implementation". The police was taking prompt action on any information that comes to their notice from social media, he said, disclosing that prompt arrangements were made for delivery of diabetic medicines to a Jalandhar family after they had tweeted for help.
"In Amritsar and Ludhiana, 650 persons had been engaged from Swiggy for home delivery of the essential goods, while in Patiala, home delivery of essential commodities was being ensured in coordination with the delivery boys from Zomato and Swiggy," Gupta said.
"As many as 100 trolleys containing essential commodities were dispatched across Sangrur district by engaging the services of local volunteers," said the DGP, adding that "in Tarn Taran, milk producing entities like Verka and Amul had been roped in for ensuring decentralised distribution of milk following proper social distancing measures".
"Officers of milk plant Verka have been liaised with and they have assured that their 700 vendors will undertake door-to-door supply of milk in Amritsar too. Further, for fruits and vegetables in Amritsar, liaison has been established with the merchant leader (Pardhan) of the Sabzi Mandi. Around 200 vendors from the Mandi will undertake door-to-door delivery of vegetables. Similarly, the Pardhan of the Mandi has assured that around 100 vendors will be deputed for undertaking door-to-door supply/delivery of fruits," DGP added.
"In Khanna, vegetables and fruits are being sold via rehris. For dry ration, necessary tie-ups with the kirana stores have been made, and they are also taking orders on phone and ensuring home delivery. Information about the availability of the home delivery services is being disseminated through the WhatsApp groups," said the DGP.
The DGP said certain issues were being faced by the police teams in certain areas, including shortage of essential items and LPG, pressure from wheat farmers for opening of pesticide markets and shops, demand from potato growers for safe passage and transportation for supply of their crop to other states, among others. "All efforts are being made to resolve these concerns at the earliest," he said
Punjab Police distribute food to the poor amid lockdown
Chandigarh: The Punjab Police on Wednesday distributed food to the poor in many parts of the state and also ensured home delivery of essentials to daily wagers and slum dwellers amid a country-wide lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus, officials said.
The humane action comes a day after several videos purportedly showing the police personnel slapping and hitting those defying prohibitory orders went viral on social media.
The police personnel organised 'langars' (community meal) to feed those who can barely manage a meal without their daily wage, the officials said.
In Amritsar, police made arrangements at Ghah Mandi and Ram Bagh area for distributing food to daily wagers. After making announcements from police vehicle, food was given to the poor while maintaining social distance, said Amritsar Station House Officer Neeraj Kumar.
“We have distributed over 300 packets each of milk and fruit to the needy people. We have a list of people to whom food items will be distributed,” he said.
In Tarn Taran, police distributed chapattis and other items to the poor. At Nakodar in Jalandhar, police with the help of residents distributed ration to 300 households, which included rickshaw pullers, slum dwellers, daily wagers within and on the outskirts of the city, the officials said.
Videos showing police personnel delivering essential items at doorsteps of houses of slum dwellers and daily wagers were also widely circulated on social media.