A day after clamping curfew in Punjab to stem the Covid-19 spread, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday announced several measures to ease peoples' problems and to enable authorities manage the situation more effectively.
Given the need to continue with the curfew, which had received good response, it was essential to minimize the hassles faced by citizens, said Singh, adding a new curfew guidelines would be implemented strictly under overall supervision of deputy commissioners, who would ensure that the people have access to essential supplies and services.
Stressing that he understood the people's problems in the prevailing conditions, the chief minister said DCs have been asked to ensure door-to-door delivery of essential commodities, such as groceries, milk, fruits and vegetables, through pre-identified hawkers and distributors, wherever possible.
Cart vendors will be designated to deliver milk, bread, biscuits, eggs to homes every morning by SDM or Sector Magistrate, as part of the curfew management system.
As per the new curfew management guidelines, general exemption is completely barred, with no vehicular movement allowed without curfew passes.
Only in case of emergency, people may be permitted to go on foot for essentials like groceries, milk, fruits and vegetables and medicines and, to visit doctors and nursing homes, as per the guidelines, the chief minister said in a statement here.
The DCs will disseminate the phone numbers etc for home delivery and also give permission, where needed, for temporarily going out for medical aid, essentials etc.
In emergency, a citizen/resident should be able to call police or civil control rooms to avail necessary essential services, said the chief minister, adding that the police and civil administration has instructions to ensure that citizens do not face hardship and are not harassed at this critical time.
The chief minister said he had directed district mandi officers and market committee secretaries to ensure implementation of the system of home delivery of vegetables and groceries, respectively, to ensure that people do not flock at shops in large numbers during curfew relaxation, which could trigger a law and order situation.
Some bigger malls and businesses can also be engaged for door to door delivery, he suggested.
Instead of blanket permission for opening of grocery shops, milk vendors, fruits and vegetables shops and chemists, it has been decided to allow them to open on rotation, in a manner that at any point of time at least one shop each is open in a given area.
Such shops will also be allowed to provide door-to-door delivery on call, said the Chief Minister.
To check over-crowding and ensure that spatial distance is maintained at the shops permitted to open, the chief minister said it had been decided that these should be kept under the supervision of one or two policemen.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)