New Delhi: Over a month after the nation-wide lockdown was imposed, the government on Monday said that at least 76 per cent trucks carrying food and medicines are plying and over 79 per cent major agricultural wholesale markets or ‘mandis’ are operating in the country.Also Read - No Entry For Vehicles to Azadpur Mandi Without Token, Here’s Why
An Empowered Group-5 constituted by the Government stated the facts in a report. It showed that there is an improvement in key supply chain indicators from March 30 to April 25. Also Read - Are Shops at Delhi's Azadpur Mandi Shut After Death of COVID-19 Patient? Here's What we Know
The government had imposed a stringent lockdown in the country on March 25 which was later extended to May 3. Also Read - Lockdown Relaxation: Azadpur Mandi to Remain Open For 24 Hours From Tuesday
The Empowered Group stated that on March 30, only 46 per cent trucks with food and medicines were plying on the road, but the percentage increased on April 25. Similarly, only 61 per cent mandis were operational earlier, but the percentage increased this month.
It further asserted that government institutions are working round the clock to make essential items accessible.
109 time-tabled parcel trains over 58 routes have been started by the Indian Railways, 400 rakes carrying food grains and other essential items are moving day and night, over 2.5 lakh meals served by IRCTC everyday across all four railway zones, the Group added.
Further, 392 Lifeline Udaan flights have been carrying 700+ MT of essential cargo operated till date, 100+ MT of medicines, medical equipment and 1 Lakh food packets delivered by payments and DBT worth 730 crores made to 34L persons by India Post.
The Empowered Group-5 is tasked with easing policy and implementation bottlenecks, supply chains of essential items, troubleshooting of specific bottlenecks on the ground, and tracking key indicators and disseminating best practices of supply warriors.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had constituted 11 empowered groups, to be headed by secretaries, for planning and ensuring quick implementation of decisions taken to check the spread of the coronavirus.