PUNJAB POLICE on Friday scaled up their curfew relief operations across the state. They distributed nearly 1.9 lakh food packets and set up medical camps in various districts, while facilitating the movement of around 3,000 trucks and lorries carrying essentials into Punjab at various inter-state border points in the past 24 hours, said DGP Dinkar Gupta.
Apart from handling 1,600-odd applications received for the e-pass facility introduced Thursday, they are also working on introducing new kinds of passes, such as an Inter-State Critical Emergency Transit Pass, covering states of Punjab, Delhi, UP, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and UT of Chandigarh, and the Baddi Industry Pass to facilitate travel.
“A total of 42,515 police personnel across ranks, along with volunteers, were on the ground today to enforce curfew and maintain essential supplies as well as law and order. A total of 79 FIRs were registered and 104 persons arrested in 24 hours till Friday evening for curfew violation and violation of quarantine guidelines,” said Gupta.
The DGP said the ‘112’ police emergency number, which was converted into a curfew helpline Thursday, had received 17,000 calls in 24 hours, of which 10,699 calls were related to queries regarding COVID-19 etc. Of these, 1,176 COVID-19 emergency-related calls, 406 were related to violations of curfew, 531 to supply of essential commodities, 65 to Medicines, 102 to reporting of suspected cases and 10 to medical assistance, while 62 were miscellaneous calls.
“To further streamline operations, all police commissioners and SSPs of districts have nominated designated officers for specific tasks, such as district war room, district control room, maintenance of essential services, maintaining smooth flow of traffic in the district including the national/state highways, district police media liaison officer, and hospital/medical liaison officer,” said the DGP.
Giving details of the e-pass facility, the DGP said passes had been granted for a large number of the 1,600 applications received. A few had been rejected while others were still under process, he added.
The digital e-Pass facility, a web-based application, was launched by Punjab Police on Thursday for providing about 9 different kinds of e-passes for different kinds of categories, such as hospital, medical-related issues, mediapersons, movement of essential goods, essential services, health workers, government officials, vendors (fruits, vegetables, groceries), delivery workers (grocery, fruit, vegetable, restaurant, chemist).
Distribution of food
Regarding distribution of food, the DGP said, “Of the 1,88,317 food packets distributed across the state on Friday, 1,34,815 were of cooked food and 53,502 were dry food packets.”
To facilitate supply of essentials, senior officers were initiating special measures in their respective districts.
“Community kitchens have now been set up in three slum areas of Ludhiana (Rural) Police district. In Ludhiana (Rural) district, dry packets were distributed to around 1,600 people while cooked meals were served to around 12,000 people,” said Gupta.
Under SSP Kapurthala, medical camps were organised in Phagwara, Subhanpur and Begowal areas.
“To ensure smooth and uninterrupted operation of the inter-state supply chain of goods, the supervision of the inter-state barrier on NH-1 at Shambu in Patiala has been given on 24/7 basis to Jatinder Singh Aulakh, IGP Patiala Range,” the DGP further said.
“Efforts are also being made to enroll volunteers as curfew police officers, especially in villages and city/town mohallas, to enforce the curfew, especially in certain areas and villages where the police presence was thin on the ground. SSP Barnala has enrolled 50 such volunteers while SSP Bathinda has engaged village chowkidars and forest guards for enforcement of curfew in the villages,” he said.
Efforts were also being made to involve rickshaw-pullers to sell vegetables/milk etc. in small areas of operation. This would facilitate delivery of vegetables and provide livelihood to the rickshaw-pullers, said the DGP.
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