Home delivery services yet to fall in place in Ponda

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NIRGOSH GAUDE | NT  Ponda

Even after eight days of lockdown in the state due to COVID-19 pandemic, home delivery of essential food grains and vegetables is yet to fall in place in Ponda taluka with most people finding it difficult to get their essential supplies delivered in time.

Not just food grains and vegetables, LPG cylinder supply has also faced disruption in various parts of Ponda.

As per information, around 34 grocery shops from Ponda town have registered with South Goa Collector to provide home delivery service. However, as per locals, none of them are geared up to cater to the needs of the people. They said that mobile phones of most of the owners were either switched off or calls not being attended to, while some were claiming that their shops were out of stock.

Announcement by the Chief Minister that all grocery stores will remain open had come as a relief to the people of the town, however, little did they know that most of the stores were out of stock.

“Even Goa Bagayatdar was closed and people, who had not ventured out to make purchases last week, are now running out of supplies at home,” a Khadpabandh-Ponda resident stated.

The situation is similar in village areas too and the needy especially are struggling to get essential commodities.

Although panchayats in Ponda were gearing up to provide home delivery service of essential items, the system was yet to be effective in many areas. However, some villages like Usgao, Priol, Kavlem, Shiroda have already made the arrangement but there were still people complaining of either not being aware of it or not getting the supplies in time.

Locals alleged that people who are financially better off and are not in urgent need of essential commodities were being catered to first while those, in dire need of supplies, were being neglected. 

However, the village panchayat of Veling-Priol-Kunkolim is an exception. This reporter has found out that this panchayat’s home delivery system is working smoothly with panch members making all the required efforts.

Besides, there are few social workers and volunteers who are working tirelessly to help the needy people in getting their essential commodities.

Supply of LPG cylinders has also taken a hit in most of the areas and people are finding it difficult to get a refill as gas cylinder vehicles have not visited village areas since the last week.

However, on Monday, people received vegetables through horticulture outlets. With government starting to supply vegetables through horticulture outlets, most people across Ponda got their share of vegetables for the week on Monday. Though it was not home delivered, most people queued up outside the outlets and bought their share of vegetable requirements.

While the main fish market in Ponda being shut and vendors not moving around, the locals are opting for local fish which is sold at exorbitant prices, claimed a Kundaim resident.