UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore on Saturday said a shorter relaxation period would have led to “panic hoarding and the basic motive of social distancing would have been defeated”. Badnore said that even as the entire administrative machinery was mobilised in providing ration and vegetables to residents, “the success achieved was limited” and “number of complaints of non-availability” had poured in.
The decision to enforce the curfew relaxation, taken on Friday, had received mixed reviews.
The UT Administrator said majority states/UTs in the country had opted for a lockdown while keeping establishments for essential items open. “Only in Chandigarh and State of Punjab, a decision was taken to impose total curfew which also resulted in the closure of all establishments including that of essential items (including shops/kiryana stores/vegetable shops etc).
After the imposition of curfew, Administration had put in massive efforts to ensure that the backend supply chain and forward linkages of essential items including milk, vegetables, LPG gas etc. is maintained. The entire Administrative machinery was mobilised, however, success achieved was limited,” he said, adding, “Large number of complaints were received about non-availability of essential items, their quality, high prices, short duration of stay of mobile vendors etc.”
He further said, “There were also complaints from periphery areas and villages about people going without food due to absence of ration and medicines. Moreover, only few medical shops agreed to deliver medicines…There were also complaints that while supply of essential goods and services is being maintained in Haryana and other parts of the country, why could the same facility not be provided to residents of Chandigarh.”
Badnore said he consulted senior officials of the Administration including medical experts who said that if the same social distancing is being observed by people near CTU buses, the same can be ensured at the shops in the respective area markets.
“It was felt that it would be easier to ensure and regulate social distancing in 3 or 4 shops that will be opened in respective sector market areas which are more spread out.The DGP also stated that nowhere in the country could any curfew be sustained for more than 3 days without giving relaxations. If such relaxations are not given, it might result in law and order issues,” he said.
Langar to be allowed
The Administrator also stated that langar and mass-feeding of people by charitable trusts will be allowed. However, social distancing will be enforced. He also directed AA to ensure door delivery of essential items to senior citizens, who could not go to market for direct purchases. He directed Commissioner, MC to tie up with fast food companies.
“Further decision regarding opening or closing of essential items will be taken in due course depending upon the crowd behaviour and compliance with social distancing. In order to provide relief to the people and ensure continuous supply of essential goods and services during the curfew period exemption that has been allowed includes, wherein only one person from every house has been allowed to step out of their house on foot between 10 am to 6 pm daily till further orders, to visit their nearest shops or super marktets selling grocery/kiryana…,” he said.
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