A committee formed by the Prime Minister to look after the facilitation of supply chain during lockdown has suggested adopting the ‘vegetable on wheels’ initiative taken by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation on March 25 across the country, wherever feasible.
Of the 11 committees formed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the conveyor of the empowered group of “facilitating supply chain and logistics management”, IAS officer Parameswaran Iyer suggested a replication of the AMC initiative in other parts of the country, wherever feasible, in a communication dated April 3, to all chief secretaries.
The initiative was ideated on the night of March 24, after Modi announced a country-wide lockdown for a period of 21 days.
Speaking to The Indian Express on March 27, municipal commissioner Vijay Nehra had said, “We started with 10 e-rickshaws with vegetables which were sold by women self-help groups. We saw a good response and realised that e-rickshaw is not a priority so we decided to take up general rickshaws on a rental basis, and also involved street vendors as we realised we need not just restrict to women self-help groups. So the second day, we had 48 rickshaws plus the 10-15 e-rickshaws. The third day, we further scaled up to include 250 rickshaws.”
However, after the initial disruption in supply chain for the first few days was overcome, the AMC decided to scale down.
Nehra told this paper, “There were several reasons for the scale-down. First, the initial disruption in supply chain has now gone away with issuance of passes (for those involved in essential services). Retailers such as Reliance Fresh, D-Mart, which we had shut down for the first few days of the lockdown (owing to non-adherence to social distancing) too are home delivering now. Other retailers like Big Basket too are back in action and as are the vegetable pushcarts.”
From April 1, the AMC was using 118 autorickshaws including the e-rickshaws, facilititing supply of vegetables in the 48 wards across seven zones of the AMC jurisdiction and by April 4, the vehicles have further reduced to 57.
“Now we have retained one rental rickshaw per ward along with the 10 AMC-owned e-rickshaws,” he added.
Sale of over 108 tonne vegetables had been facilitated since March 25, until April 4.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines