Chandigarh: Amid tighter restrictions and controls as part of the anti-COVID curfew/lockdown in place, the Punjab Police on Wednesday went into mission mode to launch innovative and indigenous initiatives across districts to facilitate door-to-door supply of essential goods through strategic tie-ups with Zomata, Swiggy, Verka, Amul, Mandi Pradhans, Chemist Associations etc.
As a result of the initiatives taken by the district police, door-to-door supply of essential goods like medicines, grocery, eatables had started in many of the districts in the state,
while similar delivery mechanisms were being worked out in others too. Passes were also being issued to authorized vendors for the supply of essential goods, according to DGP Dinkar Gupta, adding that for home delivery of Medicines, in particular, necessary tie-ups are being made with the respective Chemist Associations, so that orders can be taken on phone and home delivery is accordingly undertaken.
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 the 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.
Strict enforcement of the curfew had curtailed the number of FIRs for violations to 74 today against yesterday’s 230, with a 38,468-strong police force on the ground to enforce the restrictions while ensuring access to essential goods and services for the people, Gupta said. The violations of curfew were reported from Ludhiana City, Ludhiana Rural, Khanna, Ropar, Sangrur, Patiala, Jalandhar City, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, SBS Nagar, Mansa and Ferozepur.
Responding to the DGP’s directions to think out-of-the-box, Commissioners of Police and SSPs in several districts had come out with innovative ways to ensure that essential commodities reach the citizens. The DGP had issued certain directives to the top officials soon after the announcement of the curfew by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and the nationwide lockdown by the Prime Minister. He had asked them to make suitable arrangements for door-to-door delivery of essential goods and services, and to ensure smooth functioning of delivery boys, rehris, small motorized vehicles etc.
In Amritsar and Ludhiana cities, 650 persons had been engaged from Swiggy for home delivery of the essential goods, while in District Patiala, home delivery of essential commodities was being ensured in coordination with the delivery boys from Zomato and Swiggy.
As many as 100 trolleys containing essential commodities were dispatched across Sangrur district today by engaging the services of local volunteers, said the DGP adding that in District Tarn Taran, Milk producing entities like Verka and Amul have 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 City too, with the Commissionerate Amritsar directed to issue the necessary passes, said Gupta. Further, for Fruits and Vegetables in Amritsar City, liaison has been established with the merchant leader (Pardhan) of the Sabzi Mandi. As a result, around 200 vendors from the Mandi will undertake door-to-door delivery of Vegetables to the residents of each colony and area in Commissionerate Amritsar. Similarly, the Pardhan of the Mandi has assured that around 100 vendors will be deputed for undertaking door-to-door supply/delivery of Fruits.
In district Khanna, Vegetables and Fruits are being sold out door-to-door via Rehris, after getting the same from Mandis. For dry rations, necessary tie-ups with the Kiryana 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.
In Sri Muktsar Sahib district, for dry rations, a meeting with Pardhans of Kiryana merchants association was held. Since most of them have running accounts of their customers, in each mohalla & locality, they have been asked to collect their orders on phone & keep all parcels ready by 5 pm of the day. Thereafter, they will be allowed to go door to door, clubbing one cart/ Chhota Haathi per ten shops, between 5 & 6 pm. Movement of these vehicles will be regulated by respective PCRs of each locality to ensure confinement of customers/ Residents, 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 etc, daily visits at government hospitals by drug addicts with de-addiction centre cards seeking medicines, pressure from wheat farmers for opening of pesticide markets & shops, demand from potato growers for safe passage and transportation for supply of their crop to other states, among others.
All efforts were being made to resolve these concerns at the earliest, assured the DGP, adding that the police officials themselves had suggested various means to address these issues in their respective districts. Some of the key suggestions included roping in of NCC, volunteers, private/retired doctors and nurses to augment health services, using Public address system to make people aware of delivery schedules etc, allowing wholesalers of sanitisers and masks to open shops at fixed times for supply to retailers, permission to private doctors to attend to routine ailments of newly born babies, old age peoples and pregnant ladies, strong measures by PR departments to counter rumours, expansion & updation of vendor list, and random checking of Covid-19 to prevent community spread.