Supplies hit as apathetic officials hinder delivery of essentials


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Despite announcements and assurances by top political and executive brass on ensuring uninterrupted supplies of essential items of daily consumption to people during the nationawide lockdown, hundreds of people are still facing difficulties in getting these supplies in the face of apathetic babudom at ground level.

Residents of many high-rise residential societies in the national capital region groused that they were facing problems due to disruption in supply of daily essentials like milk and others as e-commerce companies were not allowed to ensure home deliveries.

Residents of Gaur City area in Greater Noida Extension, which has over one lakh population with most dependent on Milk Basket and Big Basket for supply of milk and grocery, complained about non-delivery for the last two days.

Milk Basket CEO Anant Goel took to Twitter on Tuesday and said: "We at Milk Basket are determined to support families with their daily milk, fruits, vegetables and food requirements. However, our staff, vendors and vehicles are being pushed back from the roads by local police, disrupting our operations.

"We are being told to shut down our distribution centres. We humbly urge authorities to look into the matter and support us in ensuring smooth service. A suggestion would be to issue Access Permits/ID cards to staff engaged in essential services like delivery of grocery, medicines, food and other items.

He tagged all authorities concerned to take note of the situation.

Despite this, residents of Gaur City area again complained on Wednesday about non- supply of milk.

Several regular customers of Milk Basket told IANS their orders were automatically cancelled on Tuesday night itself.

Pameliya Mukherjee said: "We have been buying milk from Milk Basket for the last seven months. And this is the first time that milk was not delivered in the mornings."

"We received a phone message on Wednesday morning from Milk Basket that they had to dump over 15,000 litres of milk as authorities did not allow them to supply it," another resident griped.

Mukherjee said she will now have to visit the market to buy milk. The Milk Basket did not take fresh orders for supply due to the lockdown, she claimed.

Hitting out at the government over the lack of preparation before the announcement of the countrywide 21-day lockdown, Congress leader Ajay Maken said that people are complaining about the harassment by officials at the ground zero level.

In a tweet, the former Union MInister said: "Amazon stops new orders. Flipkart suspends services. Milk Basket forced to dump 15,000 litres of milk, 10,000 tonnes of fruits or vegetables in one day. All are complaining about harassment by authorities. All for an unprepared and knee-jerk lockdown."

Maken's remarks came a day after Milk Basket said in a message to its customers through its mobile application: "On March 23, more than 50 communities denied entry to Milk Basket without prior notice, which resulted in dumping of 15,000 litres of milk and throwing over 10,000 kg of fruits and vegetables."

The message from the Milk Basket suggested that apart from area police, some resident welfare associations also took it upon themselves to restrict the movement of people within their residential compounds.

On Wednesday, the total number of coronavirus positive cases in India rose to 600, with 10 deaths.

Source: IANS

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