Coronavirus outbreak: Everyone will get essentials, says Uddhav Thackeray

Updated: Mar 26, 2020, 07:36 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Centre issues advisory to chief secretaries and police heads to ensure production, transportation and sale of essential commodities.

Mumbaikars thronging Byculla fruit market on Wednesday. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Mumbaikars thronging Byculla fruit market on Wednesday. Pic/Suresh Karkera

In view of the announcement of a nationwide lockdown till April 14 and the subsequent rush for buying essential commodities, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray made two webcasts — one late Tuesday night and another one on Wednesday — to assure people that essential commodities would not go out of the market and the state government would make all arrangements to ensure availability.

Given the public unrest after the PM's address to the nation, he once again said that supplies were in stock. "We have sufficient food stock. The essential and emergency services are available. Shops, clinics, vet shops, milk centres, vegetable stalls, fruits are available. We haven't stopped the transportation of farm products and medicine. So, please don't panic," he said. Thackeray said no problems would be created for farmers. "I know you (farmers) are harvesting or preparing for the next season and I also know that if you are not allowed to do so, then, we would face yet another big problem," he said.

On a lighter note
He said it was the time for the present (generation) to take care of the past (elders) and the future (children). "Entire families are now together. We had lost this pleasure of unity. Let's experience it and keep the Coronavirus away," he said while reassuring people to not worry about supplies.

"Many people ask me what do I do sitting at home? I tell them that I take commands of Mrs CM. I request you to take commands of your respective home ministers (the wives)," he said in a lighter vein during the webcast in which he also sent Gudhi Padva (Hindu New Year) wishes.

He also shared tips like reducing the use of air-conditioners at home in order to keep away the Coronavirus, which flourishes in cooler, closed environments. "Let your windows be open. Let fresh air come in," he said.

Centre's advisory
The Centre also issued a directive to all state chief secretaries and DGPs to ensure the supply chain and transportation of essential goods and services inside their respective states and between various states. While it was imperative to follow notified lockdown restrictions, it was also necessary to ensure the unhindered operation of manufacturing, processing, transportation, distribution, trade/commerce and logistics related to all essential services, it said.

The advisory also spoke of installing a call centre for addressing grievances of essential service providers. It has also asked for standard operating procedures to be followed, and nodal officers to be appointed at inter-state, inter-district borders. According to a state official, the state had most of the things mentioned in the advisory already in place.

Maharashtra police appeal to retailers

. Maharashtra police has given instructions time and again to all the police personnel on the field to facilitate the movement of these vehicles and persons.

. We request you to kindly carry your I-cards, display a placard of essential commodity/service on your vehicle.

. Despite this, if there is any inconvenience, it may be reported to 100 number which is working directly under the CP/SP.

. In case the issue is not resolved then the person may contact the State Police Control Room any time on +912222026636 or +912222822631

. Manoj Patil, SP, State Control Room will be available on 9075080344.

. Kindly cooperate with the Maharashtra police. We are always there to serve you with adequate safety measures.

— DGP, Govt of Maharashtra

Traffic police helpline

To facilitate smooth movement of essential services, the Mumbai Traffic Police has started a CORONA TRAFFIC HELPLINE. Those associated with these essential services and citizens requiring emergency movements may contact 022-24937747 and 022-24937755. Apart from this, those moving on roads without any reason will be liable for action

— Office of Jt. Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Mumbai

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