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Home / Chandigarh / Coronavirus curfew: Vegetables sold from CTU buses as Chandigarh administration works on streamlining door-to-door delivery system

Coronavirus curfew: Vegetables sold from CTU buses as Chandigarh administration works on streamlining door-to-door delivery system

The authorities said the quantity and variety of vegetables would be increased from Friday

chandigarh Updated: Mar 27, 2020 01:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
SAFE DELIVERY: Chandigarh administration staff selling vegetables and fruits from a Chandigarh Transport Undertaking bus at Sector 41 during curfew on Thursday.
SAFE DELIVERY: Chandigarh administration staff selling vegetables and fruits from a Chandigarh Transport Undertaking bus at Sector 41 during curfew on Thursday.(Keshav Singh/HT)

Even as the UT administration, on the third day of the curfew, to some extent streamlined its operations to deliver essential commodities in localities, but the system devised to deliver vegetable and fruits left much to be desired.

The administration’s plan to deliver vegetables and fruits in residential areas through Chandigarh Transport Undertaking buses didn’t go as planed. In most cases, the buses ran out of stock at the very start of sectors . 70 CTU buses were deployed on Thursday for sale of fruits and vegetables.

“Two CTU buses started from the Sampark Centre in our sector at around 9am, but fearing that supplies would finish when these reach their houses, people drove in their cars to the spot,” said Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 43.

Residents also complained of vendors selling vegetables double the normal price. In most cases, vegetable stock was limited to potatoes, tomatoes and onions. In some cases, other seasonal vegetables were also available. Fruit option was mainly limited to bananas. The supply of vegetable was better in some sectors, including 48, 47, 45, 21 and 20. In colonies buses didn’t reach interior parts.

Milk supply was better managed than vegetables. “Milk vendors were available from 7am in the sector. Some people even went to milk booths,” said Sanjiv Sharma, a resident of Sector 29. President of the Sector 45-C RWA Rajat Malhotra said social distancing went for a toss. “People weren’t even lining up properly as they all tried to purchase milk. Most people were without protective equipment like masks also,” he said.

Even as the grocery and chemist stores opened, the retailers complained of running out of stock as demand spiked.

STEPS TO IMPROVE SUPPLY

Reiterating that there will be no relaxation in curfew, UT adviser Manoj Kumar Parida, said, “We are modifying our strategy. Now, we have put in place 100 rapid response teams (RRT) comprising UT, MC officials and area councillors across the city. In every sector, at least one such team has been constituted.”

The names and contact information of the nodal officers of the RRTs has been uploaded on the websites – chandigarh.gov.in and chdcovid19.in.

The administration also plans to fix the prices of vegetables on day to day basis. The administration will also be putting in place a dedicated team at the Sector 26 wholesale market to monitor situation.

The list of nodal officers for provision of home delivery of milk has been uploaded on the website of the Chandigarh administration. They will ensure supply of milk in the morning and evening.

The administration is in talks with the MARKFED and HAFED to operate mobile vans in the city to provide rations at reasonable rates. “We are also working with the mobile app based home delivery companies to deliver food at people’s doorsteps,” said Parida.

DELAY IN ISSUING PASSES FOR ELECTRICITY DEPT STAFF

Many UT electricity department staff members could not respond to breakdowns or reach their workplace as there was delay in issuing curfew passes to them. “We had applied for curfew passes for the employees but even after three days no response has come from the deputy commissioner’s office. We have taken up the matter with higher officials of the administration. So far in most parts of the city there is no report of a major breakdown,” said a senior official of the electricity department requesting anonymity.

CHANDIGARH FIGHTS CORONA FUND CREATED

UT administrator VPS Badnore on Thursday announced creation of the ‘Chandigarh Fights Corona Fund’ and contributed a sum of ₹1 lakh from his side. The fund will be used to fight the Covid-19 in Chandigarh. Any person who intends to contribute can deposit the money either through cheque or through online banking in the Indian Red Cross Society, UT, Chandigarh bank account.