Local authorities across towns and cities are using creative and resourceful ways to ensure social distancing at shops and markets.

Coronavirus Coronavirus Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 20:30

As the initial uncertainty and panic around the supply of essential commodities during lockdown slowly settles down, many towns and villages are using simple, creative and resourceful ways to avoid crowding and ensure social distancing. Across towns and cities, civic bodies, district officials and police officers have been ensuring that people in queues at markets, stores, ATMs, etc. are physically standing apart, by making grids, boxes, lines, or circles on the ground. And so far, this method seems to be effective. 

In Andhra Pradesh, the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation moved farmers’ markets, or Rythu Bazars, to stadium grounds or government school premises to decongest the market areas. The Ajit Singh Nagar and Payakapuram markets were shifted to the Makineni Basavapunnaiah stadium grounds, so that vendors can also set up shop with enough distance between each other. 

Wide grids were drawn on the stadium grounds, with customers standing in the middle of their square, advancing one block at a time. 

Makineni Basavapunnaiah Stadium, Vijayawada 

Even super markets in Vijayawada like D Mart, Reliance and Big Bazar took similar measures while customers enter the stores or while they wait in line for billing. The number of customers allowed inside the store at a given time has also been limited. 

Super markets in Vijayawada 

In Telangana’s Mahabubnagar, police officers made circles outside an ATM so people could queue up responsibly. 

Mysuru city police did the same, in front of medical stores and milk parlours, as did the Bengaluru police. 

Shops in Chennai’s Perungudi also marked boxes for social distanced queues, while the Amma canteens, which remained open, marked the distance with lines. 

In Tirupati, long queues visiting the market moved rapidly thanks to the social distancing grids. 

Tirupati 

In Guntakal town of Andhra’s Anantapur district, huge grounds are being used to have similarly spacious markets and queues. 

Scenes from a farmers’ market in Tamil Nadu’s Pudukkottai also showed vendors’ stalls separated with makeshift rope fences. 

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