The pushcarts are selling eggs, flowers, fruit, vegetables and bread to residents as groceries stores cannot open during the statewide lockdown till May 31.

A vegetable seller sitting amid vegetablesImage for representation
Coronavirus COVID-19 Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 09:49

The Chennai Corporation has permitted 5,000 additional mobile carts to sell essential groceries, including fruit and vegetables, to the city residents during the week-long lockdown in Tamil Nadu. The Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi IAS asked officials in all 15 zones of the Corporation to permit vendors to sell fruit and vegetables and other groceries in all residential neighbourhoods in their zones, according to a report.

On May 24, when the statewide lockdown started, a total of 1,689 pushcarts were allowed in Chennai. These carts are selling eggs, flowers, fruit, vegetables and bread to residents as groceries stores cannot open during the lockdown till May 31. The prices of these items, especially fruit and vegetables, declined on May 25 (Monday) as the state government regulated the prices of commodities sold via these pushcarts.

The Greater Chennai Corporation had initially decided to allow 2,500 vendors to sell groceries via pushcarts in the city. This number was increased on May 26, Tuesday. Officials have been instructed to discuss with vendors and set up more pushcarts.

Vaccination drive

Meanwhile, the Chennai Corporation has decided to speed up the vaccination drive for newspaper vendors, traders, autorickshaw drivers, shipping employees, airline employees, teachers, e-commerce employees, street hawkers and volunteers in the age group of 18 to 45. Special camps will be set up to vaccinate those belonging to these groups.

To get vaccinated through special camps, individuals falling in this category can message their details to 94983 46494 on WhatsApp.

Oxygen and ambulance services

Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian said that Chennai’s car ambulance services (private cars with beds inside) have helped a total of 12,293 patients. The Corporation has also proposed 1,293 oxygen beds, out of 773 have been made ready. Five hundred oxygen beds will be ready soon, he said.

A total of 22 MLAs in the city have decided to donate 500 oxygen concentrators to the Chennai Corporation for COVID-19 management.

A special ambulance service was also launched at the Ripon Building, the headquarters of the Greater Chennai Corporation, on May 24.