Migrants, food markets are trouble spots in UP


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Large congregation of migrant labourers and food grain outlets are emerging as major trouble spots in Uttar Pradesh even as the threat of coronavirus moving into the third stage of community transmission looms large.

Migrant labourers who are returning home after the lockdown, can be seen packed in buses that are being made available by the state government. A bus that arrived in Lucknow on Saturday brought 300 passengers.

An official of the UP-State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) admitted on Saturday, "The number of passengers is huge and buses are being deployed at various points. People are so desperate to return home that they are getting into buses without waiting for their turn. People are sitting on rooftops and even hanging out."

The goods trains, which are the only travel option left for long distances, are also bringing in passengers who cramp into as much space as possible, without an iota of concern for social distancing.

Another emerging trouble spot in the lockdown are the food grain outlets.

The state government's claim of doorstep delivery has yet to manifest itself on the ground.

Online delivery claims by mega-stores like Spencers and Big Basket are yet to get started. Their websites inform that 'due to surge in demand, orders may be delayed'

Grofers is accepting orders but the delivery date, on Saturday, was April 15.

As a result of this, people are flocking to food grain stores.

On Saturday, the police had to resort to lathi-charge at the New 'Galla Mandi' on Sitapur road as people fell upon each other to get an entry into the marketplace that also sells vegetables.

The vegetable supply in most markets has been visibly reduced and this is leading to panic buying.

A well-known store selling essential commodities in the posh Hazratganj area, disclosed that he had a stock of 150 kilograms of flour.

"A senior police official sent the cops and demanded 50 kilograms of wheat. Others are also buying bulk quantities."

The shop has not been able to remain open for the prescribed hours due to a surge in customers.

A senior doctor at the KGMU said that the government should not focus on these trouble spots which could lead to community transmission of the Corona virus.

He suggested that the government should start sending mobile vans, stocked with food grains, vegetables and other essential commodities to ease panic buying.

Source: IANS

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