Manmeet Singh Gill
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, March 26
Despite tall claims of the district administration to provide all essential items on the doorstep, residents in most of the areas failed to get milk, medicines, grocery items and vegetables here on Thursday.
Many residents complained that when they called up shopkeepers who have been given permit to sell grocery items or vegetables, they said they did not have stock. The residents said phone numbers of some shopkeepers remained busy or switched off.
Even some shopkeepers indulged in profiteering as cauliflowers and gourds were sold at Rs100 per kg. “After requesting hard, a shopkeeper at Galamala Chownk was ready to sell vegetables. Astonishingly, one person came with a policeman and took away a large number of items,” said a resident, who did not wish to be named.
Even most of the chemists whose numbers were provided to residents for home delivery of medicines did not supply the same. Officials of the drug wing of the Health Department said they had provided phone numbers of only 35 chemists who were overburdened with orders.
Department officials said they were adding more chemists to the list so that all residents could get medicines. The situation was more difficult for people living in not so posh areas or semi slums where no permit holder was allowed to visit by the administration.
Pawan, a resident of Gurnanakpura, said, “Only one person who was selling bread came to our street. But, he did not have any permit.”
However shopkeepers in some localities came to the help of residents as they secretively sold items due to the fear of the police. Residents said the system of issuing permits to selected traders gives them power to manipulate the masses. Meanwhile, there was a huge rush of traders seeking permit at the Deputy Commissioner’s office.
However, most of the banks opened their ATMs on Thursday afternoon. District administration officials said one branch of each bank would remain open from 11 am to 2 pm. The ATMs would remain open throughout the day.
72 booked for defying prohibitory orders
Four days have passed since the curfew was imposed by the government to check the spread of Covid, but people continue to defy prohibitory orders by coming on roads.
In the past 24 hours, the police booked 72 persons and registered 39 cases in the district. According to information, the rural police arrested 61 persons and registered 31 cases. A shopkeeper left his shop when a police team reached the spot. Similarly, the city police arrested 10 persons and registered eight cases. All of them were later released on bail.
Police officials said several people were not abiding the orders of social distancing and are coming on roads despite the fact that the curfew is imposed in the state.
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