Physical distancing goes for a toss at PDS shops

People flout COVID-19 protocol at a ration shop in K Sathanur in Tiruchi.

People flout COVID-19 protocol at a ration shop in K Sathanur in Tiruchi.

Persons manning the Public Distribution System (PDS) shop near K. Sathanur had a difficult time ensuring personal distance among the customers. The people had been waiting for nearly an hour in front of the shop, throwning caution to the wind, they said.

A cross section of ration card holders feels that the authorities need to improve facilities and service to ensure that the COVID-19 safety protocol were followed at the PDS shops. An aged man who had been waiting for half an hour to purchase rice said that it was difficult to wait in line. "We have been vaccinated, but it is scary to hear the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. It is easy to contract the infection and one must always be careful," he said.

The people were forced to stand close to one another in order to take shelter under the scorching heat. “It is not possible to stand under the hot sun for so long. One gets tired and dehydrated quickly,” the man added.

Many were women who had gone to purchase groceries for their houses. The women said that the shopkeepers could call out a few token numbers while the others waited on the side to avoid lining up for a long time and overcrowding. "We understand that purchasing the essentials take time. They should either serve the people faster or employ more people at the shop," Rajalakshmi, a resident of K. Sathanur said.

The government shoul also take steps to construct sheds outside the shops so the people are not forced to wait in the heat. “The next few months are going to be hot in Tamil Nadu. If this is the case, we will all faint one day or another,” she said. Similar conditions were also prevalent at a few other PDS shops in the city.

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Printable version | May 25, 2022 12:57:14 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/physical-distancing-goes-for-a-toss-at-pds-shops/article38297924.ece