Chennai

Crammed ration shop at Mogappair East raises concern

The PDS outlet in Mogappair East. Photo: Special Arrangement

The PDS outlet in Mogappair East. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Residents want the PDS outlet to function from a new building with adequate facilities

The small narrow pathway leading to the Public Distribution System (PDS) at Veeramamunivar Salai in Mogappair East might allow people to stand in a queue but it gives little scope for social distancing.

Residents have been seeking relocation of the existing ration shop from the rented premises to a more spacious accommodation where adequate distance can be maintained by consumers.

Formed more than two decades ago, the PDS outlet — coded EB – 067, Mogappair East II E — has a total of 2,436 consumers and has residents from 10th, 11th and 12th blocks.

“Social distancing cannot be maintained on the narrow pathway that leads to the ration shop. Consumers have to wait on the street in the open before they are called in to collect their essentials at the ration shop,” says S. Venketaramani, a long-time resident of Mogappair East.

On the same stretch, Veeramamunivar Salai, two more PDS outlets (EA– 200 and EA – 035) are being operated for the benefit of other consumers.

The latter, however, functions from a two-storey building and with much space for consumers to maintain social distancing and get their regular items.

To prevent crowding, ration shop staff issue tokens to only a handful of consumers to collect their essentials on a specific day. Such an arrangement, residents point out, results in undue delay as items such as oil and daal before their turn comes to collect them from the ration shop. As a result, many consumers visit the ration shop frequently to check if the stock is available.

Officials of the Civil Supplies Department draw attention to the challenge of finding a suitable location for the new ration shop as it cannot be located far away from its consumers.

Social distancing norms have ncessitated spacious accommodation for ration shops. “Steps will be taken to relocate the existing cramped ration shop to a new location soon,” says a Civil Supplies Department official.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 7:13:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/crammed-ration-shop-at-mogappair-east-raises-concern/article31826142.ece

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