To avoid movement of people during coronavirus lockdown, the Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday launched mobile vegetables and fruits outlets and delivery through online aggregators like Swiggy to help people get essentials at their door steps.
Additionally, the Greater Chennai Corporation announced it would soon launch 7,000 mobile outlets to vend groceries and vegetables in the city through 5,000 tricycles and 2,000 light cargo trucks.
About 50 vans are all set to be used to cater to the people, the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) said adding the vehicles would carry 18 kinds of vegetables and eight varieties of fruits everyday. The number of vehicles will be incresed based on requirements.
The supplies were being made from the Koyambedu wholesale vegetable, fruits and flower market in Chennai, one of the biggest in Asia and run by the Market Management Committe under the CMDA.
"The Resident Welfare Associations (with 25 or more households) can order through phone or by registering in the official CMDA website to get mobile services," the development authority said.
Arrangements have been made to handover vegetable-fruit packs to people through online food delivery aggregators - Swiggy, Zomato and Dunzo- and public will get the supplies at the price fixed by the MMC, the CMDA said.
Also, the vehicles from the Koyambedu market will travel to middle, low income and tenements in the slum clearance board neighbourhoods.
GCC Commissioner G Prakash said a consultative meeting of traders was held in which it was decided to launch the mobile vans and tricycles to sell vegetables and groceries to ensure that people in corporation limits had hassle free access to essential commodities at fair prices during the lockdown.
"Traders selling vegetables and groceries from vans and tricycles will wear gloves and masks. They will be given special identity cards," he said.
As part of precautionary measures as many as 60 out of the 75 markets have already been shifted to play grounds and bus terminus locations to ensure social distancing, the senior official said.
Also, the civic authorities have set up new disinfection tunnels in several localities.
The new fumigation tunnels have come up in areas like Tiruvanmiyur and Koyambedu vegetable markets here and several districts including Tirupur and Vellore already have them.
Authorities said the disinfectant tunnels were part of efforts to prevent the spread of the contagion and such initiatives will be stepped up.