Margao: In response to a recent order directing grocery stores to remain open, many villages in certain parts of South Goa have agreed to keep their shops open but have little to no essential stock to sell. In addition, many locals are questioning why fair price shops are yet to be opened.
In Seraulim, grocery shops have no essential items stocked. Volunteers, comprising sarpanch and panch members, have to go to Margao to get supplies which are then home delivered to residents.
They have now questioned why the state government has not yet made the fair price shops, that sell essential items like rice, flour, oil, sugar and other commodities at fixed prices, ready to cater to the needs of the people.
“Essential commodities have not reached our village as yet. Stores are open but they are out of stocks. We, as volunteers, bring as much stock as we can when we go to Margao and provide it to the people. There is no rice, flour or any other essential item available at the grocery stores. Why are the fair price shops still closed? The fair price shops are one of the best ways to make essentials available to the people, especially the lower-income families,” said panch and volunteer Kevin D’Souza.
As for vegetables, the volunteers managed to get a wholesale vendor to supply essential vegetable items like onions and potatoes which were then distributed to residents.
In the village of Carmona, the panchayat had called for a meeting with the owners of grocery shops, chemists and horticulture outlets to explain the current situation and enquire about their stocks.
“All the shop owners were ready to keep their shops open and take all measures to avoid large groups. However, their stocks had run out the same night when the lockdown was announced by the Prime Minister. Supply of essential items has still not resumed. As such they prefer to down their shutters and await supply of stocks. Vegetable supply had been arranged to a certain extent but the prices of vegetables are also hitting the roof. It is high time the normal supply chain was restored at the earliest,” said village sarpanch Allwyn Jorge.
For the smaller coastal village of Cavelossim, things seem to be going well. “Our panchayat is really doing a good job. The sarpanch along with his panch members are distributing essentials to the villagers,” said a resident Viriato Mendes.