Social distancing made a norm at rythu bazaars

A farmer selling vegetables at a makeshift rythu bazaar at AU grounds as policemen regulate the crowd, in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.

A farmer selling vegetables at a makeshift rythu bazaar at AU grounds as policemen regulate the crowd, in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.  

Half of the counters have been shifted to nearby grounds

Officials from the Marketing Department have succeeded in controlling the rush at rythu bazaars in Visakhapatnam by shifting half of the counters at the markets to nearby grounds, thus achieving the much-needed social distancing in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.

A posse of police personnel was deployed at all rythu bazaars before they opened on Wednesday morning. Standing at the entrance, police teams appealed on loudspeakers for calm and asked the public to go to other rythu bazaars if there is crowding at one particular market.

Police asked the public to come wearing masks, and in the absence of a mask, cover one’s mouth and nose with a handkerchief before entering the rythu bazaaar. Police also informed the public about precautions to be taken to tackle COVID-19 and also spoke about the lockdown orders. Customers were asked to stand in queue at a distance of one metre from each other.

“When we came to the rythu bazaar yesterday, we were worried at the mad rush and returned home. Such arrangements should be appreciated,” said S Ankitha, an engineering student who came to buy vegetables at A.S Raja grounds, where some counters of MVP Rythu Bazaar were shifted.

The Marketing Department, civic staff and police have begun marking all permanent and temporary rythu bazaars, where people are supposed to stand. Markings at all rythu bazaars will be finished by Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.

DCP (Law & Order-I) S. Ranga Reddy, who inspected the markings at A.S Raja Grounds and M.V.P Colony, said that they are ensuring that visitors stand at a fair distance from each other.

Buses for farmers

A number of farmers working at the rythu bazaars complained to Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao at the Seethammadhara Rythu Bazaar that they are facing trouble in reaching the rythu bazaars from interior villages and suburban areas of the district due to the prevailing lockdown. The Minister was inspecting the rythu bazaar along with Joint Collector L. Siva Shankar on Wednesday.

Mr Srinivasa Rao in turn instructed the Joint Collector to take steps to run special APSRTC buses from Devarapalle, Anandapuram and Sabbavaram as a majority of the farmers from those areas come to the local rythu bazaars with vegetable loads. He also said that if the farmers have auto-rickshaws, the administration should give them vehicle passes to ensure that supply of essential commodities is unaffected.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 11:55:05 PM |

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