Andhra Pradesh

Notwithstanding hassles, door delivery of essentials continues

Consumers sit in the designated boxes drawn in front of a fair price shop in Tirupati on Thursday.

Consumers sit in the designated boxes drawn in front of a fair price shop in Tirupati on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: K_V_POORNACHANDRA_KUMAR

The MCT initiative so far benefits over 20,000 households

Door delivery of essential commodities, initiated by Tirupati and replicated in other cities in the State, has been largely successful in preventing crowding of denizens, but it faces hassles due to thorough barricading.

No sooner had the Centre announced lockdown than the Municipal Corporation of Tirupati (MCT) roped in super markets and departmental stores to supply essentials at the consumers’ door step.

Municipal Commissioner P.S. Girisha on Thursday announced that the scheme benefited 20,087 households in the city during the first phase of the lockdown period. “The 13 super markets that were granted permission will continue to operate till May 3,” he said, cautioning them to stick to the maximum retail price (MRP).

Mobile numbers of all major stores are prominently displayed and circulated, based on which the consumers send their grocery list over WhatsApp. The cargo vehicles with the required permission promptly door-deliver the stock.

The system went on smoothly till two major localities inhabited by some Delhi returnees were declared ‘red zones’. Residents in the densely-populated core city area were the worst hit, as inward and outward movement of people and vehicles remained prohibited in this fortified-localities. While the residents accuse the super markets of indifference and not responding to their calls, the latter find it hard to negotiate with the policemen at some barricades. Super markets, however, send stock up to 10 km radius, covering Chandragiri, Settipalli, Padipeta, Chiguruvada and Mangalam areas. “Our boys somehow manage to reach the barricade, but it is not easy to convince the policemen everytime,” avers P.R. Irfanullah of Sabson Stores, a decades-old provision shop located on Gandhi Road.

'No shortage'

The supply chain is fortunately intact, thanks to the free movement allowed at the national level for essential commodities. “Food grains are available aplenty and we will be able to supply easily till May 3, but we are keeping tabs on cosmetic products, sanitary products, floor cleaners etc”, says P. Balaji, partner at Pasuparthy Super Market.

Notwithstanding the skeletal manpower, which has shrunken to a third of its actual number, the super markets are able to reach out to every doorstep, thus helping the denizens beat the lockdown blues.

Meanwhile, the second phase of ration distribution began at fair-price shops on Thursday. Chairs were arranged in the circles meant to observe social distancing, hinting at longer queue lines.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 4:12:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/notwithstanding-hassles-door-delivery-of-essentials-continues/article31359979.ece

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