Other States

Scarcity of items in many parts of Odisha

Police enforcing the lockdown in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.

Police enforcing the lockdown in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.  

Differentiation of goods as essential, non-essential will impact supply, CM tells Modi

With the Odisha police strictly enforcing the 21-day-long lockdown on the first day on Wednesday to check spread of COVID-19 a large number of people faced difficulties in procuring essential items in different regions of the State.

With reports of scarcity of essential goods pouring in from different districts, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that differentiation of goods as essential and non-essential will lead to discretion, corruption and dislocation at check gate level. “It may lead to chaos and affect the movement of essential goods as well,” he said.

In fact, the shortage of essential goods had arisen in Odisha since the State government had ordered lockdown in five districts and eight urban centres from March 22, the day ‘janata curfew’ was observed across the country.

Mr. Patnaik pointed out that there were “long queues extending to few kilometres in the inter-State borders”. “I am sharing this from our experience in handling natural disasters — whenever we have made a differentiation between essential and non-essential goods, the overall goods movement, especially of essential goods get affected,” he said.

‘Difficult to make list’

Stating that it is difficult to prepare a comprehensive list of essential and non-essential goods and get it enforced practically at the field level, Mr. Patnaik suggested that movement of goods may be permitted seamlessly across the country without any differentiation, in order to avoid clogging at the check gates that may adversely impact supply of essential goods.

On the other hand, in order to augment the health work force, the State government advertised to engage qualified specialists, MBBS doctors, staff nurses and other paramedics to serve the people on short term contract for a period of three months.

Meanwhile, the State government announced to pay salary of four months in advance to all doctors, nurses and paramedical staff in appreciation of the risk being taken by them to fight the pandemic.

2 cases in the State

The government informed that of the 133 samples sent for COVID-19 examination reports of 129 samples had been received. The number of persons found to be positives for COVID-19 continued to remain two in the State.

So far, the State government has recorded arrival of 4,015 persons from other countries. More than 78,000 people working in other States have also returned to their homes in different districts and they have advised to stay inside their homes.

As people and companies continued to donate to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for COVID-19, the State-owned Odisha Mining Corporation donated ₹500 crore to the fund on Wednesday to help the government cope with the situation.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 5:54:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/scarcity-of-items-in-many-parts-of-odisha/article31168198.ece

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