Despair, distress shroud Ludhiana as supplies move at a snail’s pace

Published on Mar 26, 2020 09:48 PM IST

CURFEW IN PLACE: Shopkeepers faced initial hiccups due order overload, says Ludhiana DC

Police dispersing residents huddled outside a flour mill at Chhawani Mohalla in Ludhiana on Thursday.(Gurpreet Singh/HT)
Police dispersing residents huddled outside a flour mill at Chhawani Mohalla in Ludhiana on Thursday.(Gurpreet Singh/HT)
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | ByHarsimran Singh Batra, Ludhiana

The fourth day of statewide curfew brought for city residents sense of despair as even though hundreds of grocery and medical store owners were granted temporary trade licences, supplies arrived at snail’s pace, leaving many high and dry.

Grocery store owners objected to no relaxation given to open their shops and approval needed from different departments for supplying goods.

Uncertainty over mode of operations loomed large as they asked how would they supply goods to houses if they were not allowed to open shops.

President of Ludhiana Consumer Products Distributors’ Association, Harkesh Mittal, said that multiple departments were asking retailers and wholesalers to take permission.

“No exemption is being given to us to open shops. How do the authorities expect smooth delivery of essentials?”

Mittal said they had applied for temporary trade licences on Wednesday and the next day, they were asked to take permission from the food supply department.

“The administration has not invited the association members for even a single meeting. The officials should hold a meeting with retailers and wholesalers so that they could apprise them of the issues being faced at the ground level,” he added.

“The administration should come up with a concrete plan, otherwise residents would suffer a lot during the curfew,” Mittal said.

Residents a harried lot

Residents remained a harried lot due to limited supply of groceries.

One of the residents of BRS Nagar, Harvinder Singh, said they called a grocery store owner in their area thrice.

“Initially, he said that delivery of goods would be made by the afternoon, but it couldn’t be done till the evening. He later called to say that he has run out of essentials like pulses and it will take one or two days for things to streamline. He was also facing problems in delivery,” he added.

Dwellers of Sarabha Nagar, Model Town, BRS Nagar, New Model Town as well as the old city areas are no different.

One of the residents of Model Town Extension, Daljit Singh, said they contacted two retailers in their area, but no one delivered on Thursday.

“The first one said he has not opened his shop, while the second one claimed that he himself was reeling under the shortage of goods due to broken supply chain,” he added.

Though some retailers were seen supplying goods in the city, they also rued shortage.

One such retailer in Model Town Extension, Deepak Chawla, said they were not being allowed to open their shops.

“We supplied items which we had stocked at our houses. We are also not getting any supply from wholesalers, which is a major hurdle in smooth flow of services,” he added.

The administration should find a solution to restore supply channels, Chawla said.

The authorities, however, said it will take two more days for them to streamline the functioning.

Deputy commissioner Pradeep Agrawal said due to overload of orders, shopkeepers faced initial hiccups.

“However, such issues would be resolved in a day or two, following which the residents would get regular delivery of essential goods at their doorsteps,” he assured.

The administration had on Wednesday posted the lists of grocery and medical stores at and

Area councillors are also forwarding the lists of store owners in their respective areas on social networking platforms.

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