No groceries, fuel for those not vaccinated, says Aurangabad administration
The Aurangabad district administration has ordered ration shops, gas agencies and petrol pumps to supply groceries and fuel only to people who have taken at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, a move meant to ramp up vaccination in the Marathwada district.
Earlier this month, the District Collector had ordered that people who had not taken a single dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will not be allowed entry at historic sites and monuments in Aurangabad, after the vaccination figures in the region were found to be low.
Aurangabad District Collector Sunil Chavan in the order issued on Tuesday directed authorities of fair price shops, gas agencies and petrol pumps to check the vaccination certificates of customers. According to the order, only those citizens having taken at least one dose of the vaccine for Covid-19 will be able to get groceries from ration shops, gas cylinders from agencies and fuel from petrol pumps.
If the order is not followed, the administration will take action against the people concerned, under the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act, Chavan said.
In Aurangabad, about 55 per cent of the eligible population in the district have been inoculated so far, compared to 74 per cent in the state. This has put the district in the 26th place in terms of vaccination among 36 districts in Maharashtra.
The Aurangabad Municipal Corporation has also started checking vaccination certificates of people coming to government and private offices. The Municipal Corporation has directed all petrol pumps to check Covid-19 vaccination certificates of all customers from November 30.
Maharashtra has about seven million doses pending from the October stock with the state government likely to get over 20 million Covid-19 doses from the Centre for its vaccination drive. The state has also registered lowering demand as a section of the population has shown hesitancy for the second dose after the second wave of Covid-19 infections waned.
Though there has been a steady supply of the vaccine the demand for it has gone down drastically since October mainly due to two factors including the mandatory 84 days gap between two doses and the declining number of Covid-19 cases.
To increase the vaccination rate, the Aurangabad Zilla Parishad has decided to extend the inoculation process to the evening, another official said.
“Many people work in agricultural fields from morning to evening. Hence, to facilitate their inoculation, the Zilla Parishad will undertake vaccination from 5 pm to 8 pm in the district,” the Zilla Parishad’s health officer Sudhakar Shekle said.
The first such drive was organised on Tuesday in Kaygaon village, located on the Aurangabad-Ahmednagar district border, and 100 doses of vaccines were given to residents, he said.
Public announcements were also being made to create awareness about the importance of vaccination, he added.