Staff Reporter GUWAHATI, March 26 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal held discussions with representatives of Kamrup Chamber of Commerce and Wholesale Marketing Board for Vegetables at the Janata Bhawan here on Wednesday evening in the wake of the 21-day lockdown declared in the country as a preventive measure to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
FORCED INDOORS: Two kids look out of the window of their building during the ongoing lockdown, in Guwahati on Thursday. – UB Photos
The Chief Minister urged the trader bodies to take adequate steps for control of prices so that common people do not have to suffer.
He also agreed to depute an officer of the Food & Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department to coordinate with the Chamber of Commerce to deal with issues regarding availability of stock and settlement of other issues.
The Chief Minister asked the Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup (Metro) and the Commissioner of Police, Guwahati to take appropriate steps for ensuring smooth transportation of vegetables to Guwahati from the nearby districts as requested by the Wholesale Marketing Board.
Chief Minister Sonowal said the State government has taken all necessary measures to ensure availability of essential commodities and services during the 21-day lockdown period in the State so that the people do not have to face any problem. He also urged the trader bodies to look at the present situation from the humanitarian point of view and extend support to the government in easing out the woes of the public.
Mahavir Jain of the Kamrup Chamber of Commerce, who is also president of the Shri Digamber Jain Panchayat, assured the Chief Minister that the entire Jain community is with the Government of Assam in these difficult times.
Jain, on behalf of the Shri Digamber Jain Panchayat Guwahati, also announced Rs 5 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for dealing with the coronavirus. He appealed to people of all other communities to come forward and contribute to the cause.
24x7 control room: Meanwhile, chairing another meeting, Chief Minister Sonowal directed setting up of a 24x7 control room with dedicated manpower and opening of a helpline to address queries and issues of people on emergency and essential services in the State in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Reviewing the steps taken by various State government departments to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential goods and services, the Chief Minister directed deployment of staff in three shifts to receive calls from members of the public and contact respective departments and district administrations to address their issues.
Further, to ensure smooth movement of essential goods, the Chief Minister directed entrusting a team of officials to look after the issues throughout the lockdown period. He directed issuance of e-passes to goods carriers so that the supply chain is not affected. He also directed steps to maintain uninterrupted supply of animal feed in the State.
Chief Minister Sonowal also took stock of the health facilities available to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. He directed the municipal authoritative to aggressively carry out drives to sanitise all public places across the State. He further asked the health department to take steps to ensure uninterrupted supply of medicines for critically ill patients.
The Chief Minister also directed the DGP to ensure strict monitoring of rumour mongers, especially social media platforms, so that people do not panic. He directed keeping the gaonburhas, teachers, opinion leaders, BDOs and COs fully alert to deal with rumours. Steps taken by the power department and prisons were also discussed at the meeting.