Amid tighter restrictions and controls as part of the anti-COVID curfew or lockdown in place, the Punjab Police on Wednesday went into mission mode to launch innovative and indigenous initiatives across districts to facilitate door-to-door supply of essential goods through strategic tie-ups with Zomata, Swiggy, Verka, Amul, mandi pradhans, chemist associations, among others.
As a result of the initiatives taken by the district police, door-to-door supply of essential goods like medicines, grocery, eatables had started in many of the districts in the state, while similar delivery mechanisms were being worked out in others too.
Passes were also being issued to authorized vendors for the supply of essential goods, said the state DGP Dinkar Gupta, adding that for home delivery of medicines, in particular, necessary tie-ups are being made with the respective Chemist Associations, so that orders can be taken on phone and home delivery is accordingly undertaken.
At the same time, the DGP appealed to the people and the media to show some patience as arrangements on such a large scale need time for implementation. “The police is taking prompt action on any information that comes to their notice the from social media,” he said while disclosing that prompt arrangements were made for delivery of diabetic medicines to a Jalandhar family after they had tweeted for help.
He pointed that strict enforcement of curfew had curtailed the number of FIRs for violations to 74 on Wednesday against Tuesday’s 230, with a 38,468-strong police force on the ground to enforce the restrictions while ensuring access to essential goods and services for the people.
The violations of curfew were reported from Ludhiana City, Ludhiana Rural, Khanna, Ropar, Sangrur, Patiala, Jalandhar City, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, SBS Nagar, Mansa and Ferozepur.
Responding to the DGP’s directions to think out-of-the-box, Commissioners of Police and SSPs in several districts had come out with innovative ways to ensure that essential commodities reach the citizens.
In Amritsar and Ludhiana cities, 650 persons had been engaged from Swiggy for home delivery of essential goods, while in Patiala district, home delivery of essential commodities was being ensured in coordination with the delivery boys from Zomato and Swiggy.
As many as 100 trolleys containing essential commodities were dispatched across Sangrur district on Wednesday by engaging services of local volunteers, said the DGP adding that in Tarn Taran district, milk producing entities like Verka and Amul have been roped in for ensuring decentralized distribution of milk following proper social distancing measures.
Officers of Verka Milk plant have been liaised with and they have assured that their 700 vendors will undertake door to door supply of milk in Amritsar city too, with the Commissionerate Amritsar directed to issue the necessary passes, said Gupta.
Further, for fruits and vegetables in Amritsar city, liaison has been established with merchant leader (Pardhan) of the Sabzi Mandi. As a result, around 200 vendors from the Mandi will undertake door-to-door delivery of vegetables to the residents of each colony and area in Commissionerate Amritsar. Similarly, the Pardhan of the Mandi has assured that around 100 vendors will be deputed for undertaking door-to-door supply or delivery of fruits.
In Khanna district, vegetables and fruits are being sold out door-to-door via rehris, after getting the same from mandis.
For dry rations, necessary tie-ups with the Kiryana stores have been made, and they are also taking orders on phone and ensuring home delivery. Information about the availability of the home delivery services is being disseminated through the WhatsApp groups.
“Certain issues are being faced by the police teams in certain areas, including shortage of essential items and LPG etc, daily visits at government hospitals by drug addicts with de-addiction centre cards seeking medicines, pressure from wheat farmers for opening of pesticide markets and shops, demand from potato growers for safe passage and transportation for supply of their crop to other states, among others,” he said adding that all efforts were being made to resolve these concerns at the earliest.