The Greater Chennai Corporation on Saturday issued a fresh set of rules to be followed by market committees or market representative bodies in the city, to control the spread of COVID-19. Commissioner G Prakash has stated that the committees will work closely with officials from the Chennai corporation to take stock of the maintenance of the market with regard to COVID-19 safety and hygiene protocols.
This concern over markets come following the Koyambedu cluster in the city, which was a huge blow to efforts to control the pandemic. As per the latest relaxation announced in Chennai, vegetable and provision shops are permitted to function from 6 am to 6 pm and fish, chicken, egg and meat stalls are allowed to remain open as long as they maintain social distancing. Vegetables, fruit and meat markets have witnessed large public footfall and ensuring mask-wearing, hand washing and physical distancing are maintained in these venues, has become of prime importance.
"To oversee the daily functioning of these markets a group of officials with Divisional A.E (Assistant Engineer)/ J.E (Junior Engineer) of Greater Chennai corporation as the coordinator along with police/S.I (Fisheries) shall be formed to meet the market management committee every alternate day to take stock of the maintenance of market with regard to COVID-19 safety and hygiene protocols," states the corporation, in its latest release.
The market management committee is a group of officials and representatives from each market. The responsibilities now handed over to them include â€” day-to-day monitoring of the markets, enforcing social distancing within the market, ensuring all the seller and the visitors in the markets wear masks properly all the time, disallowing persons without masks into the marker, maintaining hand wash facilities at the entrance of the market, proper disposal of waste including masks and hand gloves, display of COVID-19 awareness posters and signages and ensuring CCTV arrangement with link to the jurisdiction police station.
Zonal officers of all 15 zones in the city have been tasked with identifying the group of officials for each market along with three representatives from concerned markets and issue proceedings by July 13 for each market and jurisdiction.
Each market management committee will include an AE or JE of the division, the local police, members of the fisheries department and three representatives from the concerned market.