24x7 state help lines for essential items and services

NEW DELHI: The Center has asked states to establish 24x7 control rooms, help lines at the state and district levels, and also to appoint nodal officers to ensure unimpeded and uninterrupted availability of essential items and services to the general public during the blockage of 21 days to contain.

In a communication to the chief secretaries and DGPs of all states, the Home Office said that while it is imperative to successfully implement the reported blockade/restrictions, it is also necessary to ensure unhindered operations of manufacturing, processing, transportation, distribution, warehousing, trade/commerce and logistics related to all services and products that have been exempt under the various prohibitive orders.

The MHA requested each state and UT to establish a 24x7 control room/office with help lines at the state and district levels to address any improper complaints or problems facing providers of goods/services, including during their interstate movement. The ministry said a nodal officer may be appointed in a state to coordinate with the district administration/police on this matter. This is necessary to ensure the continuity of the supply chain for basic products, several of which may be perishable in nature, he noted.

The ministry also emphasized the need to establish a standard operating protocol for the unobstructed operation of essential services/facilities and commodities, including the appointment of nodal officers at interstate borders, the issuance of vehicle passes, etc.

At the joint briefing with the Ministry of Health on Wednesday, the joint secretary, Punya Salila Srivastava, also assured that the government is working with e-commerce sites to ensure the smooth transportation and delivery of products ordered online. The ministry said state aid line facilities may also be available to ensure adequate protection for essential service providers. of any unwanted stigmatization by any local person.