Citizens throng ration shops to get free rice maintaining social distancing norms
TANGLA: The distribution of free rice at the State-run ration shops in Udalguri district has witnessed serpentine queues with people maintaining ‘social distancing norms’ to get the items which were distributed on Friday.
Braving the strictures of the lockdown, people queued up from early morning to get ration. The ration is distributed from 10 am at public distribution system (PDS) shops which continues till 1 pm.
“The citizens must maintain the social distancing norms of the lockdown and we have ensured that people maintain it otherwise it doubles the duty of the police and district administration who on the one hand have to ensure lockdown and social distancing in market places on the other to prevent the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, ” said Jitu Pathak who runs a PDS shop in Tangla town of Udalguri district.
While many grocery shops are also adhering to the norms of social distancing by making white circles in 1metre as per WHO guidelines.
Earlier the Assam Cabinet had taken a slew of measures for the poor, including free-of-cost rice to 58 lakh families under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) with effect from April 1. The decisions include free of cost rice to as many as 58 lakh poor families of the State under the NFSA, 2.78 lakh registered labourers engaged in construction works to be given Rs 1,000 as ex gratia.
Besides, as many as 100 families in rural areas not covered by the NFSA with a population of 5,000 to be given Rs 1,000 as ex gratia, 150 families in the area with a population of 10,000, Rs 1,000, and 200 families will get Rs 1,000 as ex gratia in areas having a population of over 10,000 to be given. In the BTAD areas, Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong, people not covered by the NFSA were also decided to be given Rs 1,000 as ex gratia.