Coronavirus Crisis in Indore: After starting home delivery, out of 6 lakh houses, only 60,000 receive grocery

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While coronavirus is playing havoc in Indore, the inefficiency of district and civic administration in ensuring supply of grocery to houses during the 21-day lockdown have made life of residents miserable.

As per the claim of Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC), it has supplied grocery to nearly 60,000 houses in the last four days since the facility of taking orders from door-steps was started.

As per the same IMC, there are more than 6 lakh houses in the city which is under complete lockdown due to a spike in the number of coronavirus cases.

Of over 6 lakh households, grocery reached to nearly 60,000 houses only even as the rest of houses are also in want of ration badly.

“The number is less because we started on-door delivery of groceries just five days back. The figure will shoot up drastically in next four to five days,” said an IMC officer wishing anonymity.

The lockdown was invoked on March 24 midnight across the nation. In the initial days, the lockdown in the city was moderate and flexible. People were allowed to go outside for the purchase of groceries and medicines, although most grocery shops had already run out of essential items.

From March 29 onwards, collector Manish Singh was forced to impose complete lockdown in the city as the number of coronavirus cases were increasing drastically.

He had even banned sale of milk for three days, a decision on which he had to backtrack within 24 houses under immense public pressure.

However, he did not allow grocery shops to open and also banned social organisations from distributing food packets and rations bags stating that the district administration would be doing it.

It took six days for the district and civic administration to set up a system wherein delivery of grocery items could be made to the public. From March 4, the IMC started the facility of taking orders from door-steps and getting it delivered on door-steps.

For the last four days, the IMC employees are going to houses and taking orders of 15 prescribed items. They are giving the list to grocers who are delivering the items to houses.

The system is so complex and slow that a person who gives orders does not get delivery of ordered items in two to three days also.

“We are taking orders from all but shortlisting people on an urgent basis. Delivery is made first to those who require the grocery urgently,” municipal commissioner Asheesh Singh said.

He says that they are issuing permits to more number of shops so that grocery delivery systems can be expedited.

“Initially, we have given permits to nearly 260 shops only, the number which increased to 400 on Tuesday. On Wednesday, we gave permits to 67 more shops,” Singh said.

People stated that they had not stocked up on groceries before the lockdown was announced as they did not see it coming. “As the number of cases were nearly 500 in the country when the PM took everybody by surprise by announcing a 21-day lockdown from March 24 midnight. We did not see it coming so we did get stock up on essential items. Plus, the PM had appealed people not to stock up as there won’t be any shortage of essential items. But now it has become extremely difficult to get things required to survive,” said Amit Niley of Nanda Nagar.

As it was March end, salaried people do not have much cash with them to stock up on essential items also. They thought the month would pass easily. They were not wrong but the new month began with hardships. Now, even when they have got salaries in their account they go to shops to purchase groceries. Much to their problems, IMC employees have not reached their doors to take orders also.

IMC is not going to take orders from houses for groceries on April 11. Singh stated that they would take a one-day break so that all orders received till April 10 are delivered till April 11. “From April 12, IMC employees will again start reaching door-steps to take orders,” he added. As per information, the IMC received a total 91,635 orders till April 8 of which 59,702 were delivered and 3,912 were rejected.

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