interview | Amit Khatri Delhi

Focus is on ensuring supply chain is effective, says Gurugram Deputy Commissioner

Gurugram Deputy Commissioner Amit Khatri

Gurugram Deputy Commissioner Amit Khatri  

We will be starting 10 decentralised mobile grocery stores, online pass system for residents, quarantine facilities at hotels: Gurugram official

Gurugram Deputy Commissioner Amit Khatri talks to Ashok Kumar about the challenges, priorities and preparations of the administration for COVID-19.

There have been issues with regards to the supply of essential items such as groceries, milk and medicines in the district. Many stores have run dry. Supply from manufactures/producers and wholesalers to the retailers has been hit. Delivery boys are being stopped and manhandled by the police. How are you going to resolve it?

We have adequate stocks of essential items and are comfortably placed on that front. The entire supply chain from the manufactures and warehouse to the retailers and customers has been studied. We sat with the police and the associations and key companies. The issues faced over the past couple of days have now been resolved. Passes will be supplied to the delivery boys by today (Wednesday) evening. We have told the e-commerce companies and other suppliers to keep the range of products to limited essential items and reduce the manpower to the bare minimum, even if it means increased delivery time. So with some compromises, we will keep the supply going. By tomorrow (Thursday), there should not be any issue with the supply.

How will you ensure social distancing at stores and shops?

Our efforts are to re-establish the online supply system which is app-based. Also, we will start ten de-centralised mobile grocery stores from today (Wednesday). These will be vehicles in tie-up with the big retailers. These will go to specified places at specified time to supply items of basic necessities. Based on response, the number will be increased further.

Gurugram has seen the maximum number of COVID-19 cases in Haryana. In fact, more than half of the cases are from Gurugram. How well prepared the district administration is to deal with the situation in the coming days?

We are the financial capital of the State and a large number of people here are frequent travellers to foreign countries and their relatives. So we have seen more cases than the rest of the State. But we are comfortably placed in terms of doctors, paramedical staff and ventilators. Based on our projections, we will be able to handle it. Also, 400 rooms are now available in various hotels for quarantine facilities for those willing to pay, besides free facility arranged by the government.

What is the mechanism in place if residents need to come out of their homes in case of medical or any other emergency?

We will put in place an online pass system for the residents by today (Wednesday) evening to allow movement in case of an emergency. They can take out a print and will be allowed to venture out. But it will be applicable only inside the boundaries of the district.

How is the compliance to the lockdown regulations? Is there a need for stricter measures?

I am, in fact, very thankful to the residents that they have adhered to the lockdown regulations satisfactorily. I believe that if the basic needs of the residents are taken care of, the compliance will be good. Our focus is on ensuring that the essential items supply chain is effective.

What about the large population of daily-wagers and slum-dwellers? What is administration doing to fulfil their basic needs.

This matter may come up as the period of lock down stretches on. Though the State government has announced a few measures, we are working in close co-ordination with the volunteers, philanthropic and social organisations to build a platform for this and arrange donations. The headquarters has also decided to release some funds for this, but the numbers are not final yet.

What about the availability of masks and sanitisers and their black-marketing?

We have the district chemist association on board. They are abiding by the prices fixed by the government. In case of any complaint, it is being dealt with strictly. We have sufficient stocks. But soaps can be used in place of sanitisers, and not everyone needs a mask. We have tied up with the local industry involved in the production of something else to produce masks and personal protective equipment.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 7:25:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/focus-is-on-ensuring-supply-chain-is-effective/article31168103.ece

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