Bringing relief to the consumers, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh administration have started home delivery and designated spots to sell fruits, vegetables, grocery items and dairy products from Wednesday.
This is aimed at avoiding panic among consumers for essential food items, said officials.
Twelve thousand vendors have been approved in Uttar Pradesh to home deliver essential commodities, said Devesh Chaturvedi, principal secretary, agriculture, Uttar Pradesh. He said the numbers will increase in the coming days, as district officials expand the coverage.
In the Delhi NCR region, on Wednesday, Mother Dairy doubled its supplies of fruits and vegetable in its 310 stores to 330 tonnes, to meet the rising demand of consumers, said Pradipta Sahoo, business head, Safal.
Further, Delhi’s food and civil supplies minister Imran Hussain said that they will ensure that shops selling essential item remain functional. For ration card holders, he said that free ration will be provided with 50% extra quantity to 72 lakh people and free food for homeless at night shelters.
Home delivery of PDS ration to 1.60 lakh families in Sringar will start from March 28 under strict safety protocol, said Shahid Choudhary, district magistrate, Srinagar. He said that a total of 2.61 lakh families including APL , BPL and AAY will be covered.
In Ahmedabad, the district administration and Amul started a joint effort to home deliver of milk tetrapacks. Amul MD RS Sodhi said that the government is allowing procurement of milk from the village cooperative societies and all its units in the country were operational.
Officials in Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs department in Haryana said that they will be expanding the home deliveries to other part of the states. “Eventually we will have to home deliver the commodity and the district commissioners are working to implement it,” said the official.
Milk cooperative Verka which had seen a slump of 30% in sale of liquid milk in the past two days, expect the home deliveries to ensure pickup in demand.
“The state government has chalked out district level strategy to ensure un-interrupted supply by going for home deliveries of essential daily need items. This will avoid people’s movement beyond their immediate neighbourhood,” said JK Gupta, COO, Verka, which sells 25 lakh litre milk a day.
More than 500 of Verka booths apart from retail stores selling milk in Punjab have been closed down to prevent people from stepping out of their homes.
Similar to this, the Chandigarh and the neighbouring town of Panchkula, Karnal and Sirsa in Haryana too have started home deliveries of fruits and vegetables, milk and essential grocery items.
“Vegetable and grocery vendors have been issued curfew passes and consumers have been sent messages giving contact of vendors and delivery time in their area. It makes no sense if consumer steps out of the home, so home deliveries is the only solution,” said Ravi Kant Sharma, senior deputy mayor, Chandigarh.
Sharma said the vehicles which were ferrying goods were being fumigated and officials were there in wholesale vegetables and grain markets to ensure supplies are regular and prices are not increased. He said that the vendors were being provided gloves and mask to prevent any further spread of the virus.
Consumers in Chandigarh said that few vendors were allowed in residential areas. The administration had also started selling essential commodity through community centres in Chandigarh, said officials.