While many across the country are left worrying about survival and are going to sleep on an empty stomach, owing to the lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 spread, VIPs in Chandigarh are throwing temper tantrums for extravagance. Locked under curfew, the VIPs have bombarded the administration and councillors with requests varying from availability of freshly-baked bread from Nik Bakers, ice-cream from Baskin Robbins, and only Figaro olive oil.
BJP Councillor Mahesh Inder Singh Sidhu who deals with the elite population from sector 1 to 11 said that he has given one pass each to three volunteers to help down people get their basic ration, but he has been dealing with lot of tantrums now. “When a volunteer took vegetables and fruits for a family, they called me up saying I should inquire from authorities as to why aren’t strawberries available in the market. I tried to make them understand that in this situation we can’t make choices, but they say they have to follow a prescribed diet. They have also been seeking broccoli and bell peppers,” said Sidhu.
“Then there was someone who called and told me that his family doesn’t take any other bread than that of Nik Bakers which is freshly baked, so I should make arrangement for that too,” he added. Sidhu has been having a tough time dealing with VIPs in his ward who do not listen and even go for walks. He said that a VIP living in Sector 10 drew up a list of helpers who should be allowed to move freely to everyone’s place. “I told them that even if you are sitting at home, the risk is similar if you allow some outsider to come to your place. But they made a long list of helpers who should be allowed by the administration to move freely in the sector, without realising that they can be carriers,” said Sidhu.
MC Commissioner KK Yadav, who has been dealing with supplies said that he is getting requests for imported items, the stock of which is very limited. “There was someone who called me to arrange Figaro Olive oil. I said I can arrange normal refined oil but they say that their family eats vegetables cooked in olive oil only. Then there are people who say that they got cauliflower but not broccoli. Still we try and tell them to manage with whatever we are getting,” said Yadav, adding, “In fact the stock of imported stuff is really less.”
Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla who deals with another VIP lot in Sectors 27 and 28 says that he receives hundreds of calls from people in his ward demanding only branded stuff.
“There are some who say they eat ice cream from only Amul and Baskin Robbins. Even for milk, they want skimmed milk or milk powder to be arranged,” he said.
There is also a huge demand for liquor as well. “Without realising that liquor vends are shut, many are asking if high-end brands are available,” said Babla.
A senior officer of the administration said that despite being educated, many VIPs don’t understand the gravity of the situation and lose their cool over unavailability of high-end products. “There was a VIP who threatened to sue me later for not being able to make ‘necessities’ available to people, after I told him that I won’t be able to arrange strawberries and kiwis,” the officer said.
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