Civic bodies draw lines and squares outside shops to keep people apart in a queueUpdated: Mar 26, 2020 19:51 IST
The municipal corporations in Delhi Thursday started drawing lines/circles, 1 to 1.5 metres apart, on the ground so that people can adhere to social distancing norms while queuing up outside ATMs, chemist’s stores, grocery shops, vegetable and fruit stalls, and Mother Dairy and Safal outlets.
“The purpose is to ensure a safe distance of one metre between each person so as to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection even if one person is unknowingly carrying the virus asymptomatically,” spokesperson, East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), Arun Kumar, said.
Over 10,000 safai karmacharis, anti-Malaria workers and junior engineering staff were deployed for this work in east Delhi alone. They covered areas such as Mayur Vihar, Patparganj, Seemapuri and Dilshad Garden on Thursday, and made the markings using white lime powder, about 1.5 metres apart.
About 12,000 municipal staff deployed in north Delhi covered areas of Karol Bagh, Pratap Bagh, Adarsh Nagar and Rohini and made the markings with yellow paint. North body officials said paint was better for the purpose as it would not be easily erased by footprints or washed away by rain.
“The Union health ministry came out with an advisory on March 16 regarding the importance of social distancing to prevent a community spread of the virus. It says that all commercial activities must be carried out by keeping a distance of one metre between customers,’” Sandip Jacques, Additional Commissioner, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, said.
“Essential services such as grocery shops, vegetable and fruit shops/carts, have to be kept running as people are dependent on them. So we decided to go for these markings, an exercise which is being carried out across India now. We have noticed that people adhering to the markings. They are standing in the marked slots without having to be told,” the north body commissioner Varsha Joshi said.
Puneet Agarwal, an investment banker who came to buy milk from the Mother Dairy outlet in Mayur Vihar, said it was strange to stand on circles. “In the Indian context, we don’t believe in queues and most people push and shove even when in a line. Probably, this pandemic will help us change our bad habits,” he said.