Now Protected Auto Drivers Sell Vegetables In Srinagar’s Red Zones

by Tasavur Mushtaq

SRINAGAR: Taking the concept of home delivery to the next level, district administration Srinagar Thursday rolled out a comprehensive plan to supply the essential eatables to the doorstep.

Identified, trained and protected auto drivers with vegetable laden in autos ready to get into red zones to augment the fresh vegetable supplies. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

An attempt to ease difficulties faced by people living in different zones, the administration pressed autos into the service.

Talking about this initiative, Syed Sajjad Qadri, Officer on Special Duty with Deputy Commissioner Srinagar said the step has been taken to provide essentials to the people at their doorstep conveniently.

Officials briefing the auto drivers who were identified, trained and protected by officials before they leave with supplies to red zones from Fruit Mandi in Srinagar on April 16, 2020. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

Giving details, Qadri said the administration has hired and designated 50 autos to carry out the entire procedure. The entire crew would get their load share at 5 in the morning from Sabzi mandi Parimpora and under a given set of the system would leave for their destinations. The details of the autos and contact numbers of drivers, he said would be shared with the public through different platforms.

An official making an announcement about how they should come out of their homes and collect their requirements. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

Divided as per different plan and segments, the first 15 autos he said have been designated to remain stationed outside the red zone and coordinate with local control room for supplies. “We have set up a separate control room for every red zone. The contact numbers have already been shared with the people living inside,” he said adding whenever somebody would require the essentials, he will call on control room numbers, the auto owner would hand over essentials to the designated person wearing proper protective gear and from thereon he will deliver it at the place.

The next 15, autos pressed into service would move guardedly in the buffer zones, and deliver supplies. In cases you require specific vegetable, you can call the driver in the evening or early morning, he will procure it and deliver.

Strictly following the instructions, the residents come in a line and maintain a distance in between and collect their supplies in a Srinagar Red Zone periphery on April 16, 2020. KL Image: Bilala Bahadur

The rest of around 20 autos would move in other areas but will ensure delivery is done at the doorstep.

As the district has been divided into 25 zones, the initiative to have autos supplying the vegetables is to minimise the footfall and strictly restrict movement in the red zones.

To avoid the exorbitant process, Qadri said the administration will ensure the proper rate list is followed. “For this, we have to seek cooperation from the public. If you see someone selling at higher rates, please inform district administration and we have a separate department for that,” he said and added “today somebody sent me a voice clip of a store owner refusing to deliver the order, our team went there and as mandated by law imposed fine.”

Regarding other essentials as Ramzan is a few days away, Qadri said the administration is doing whatever possible to help people. “See among 700 districts, Srinagar is in the list of 16. We had to develop plans not in vogue anywhere, this may take little time to get other supplies in it.”

For milk suppliers essentially in red zones, he said the administration is working to have a plan out soon.

At Your Doorstep

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