Panaji, March 29 (IANS) Amid growing unease over inability of food and essential items in Goa and the state government’s decision to give central paramilitary forces a “free hand” to punish curfew violators, several voices on Twitter have attempted to highlight the plight of a population which has been facing a lockdown as a food shortage for as many as eight days in a row.
In a tweet, actor Richa Chadda urged users of the social media platform to draw attention to the situation in Goa. “Goa needs food supply. Please draw attention to his, tweeple,” Chaddha tweeted on Sunday.
Authors Richa Kaul Padte and Mihir Sharma also highlighted the lack of food and underlined the sense of chaos in the coastal state, which has witnessed panic over lack of supply of essential goods including rice, wheat flour, and cooking oil.
“Journalists, twitter folks, etc: pls.. pls… can you draw attention to what is happening in Goa? We have been on COMPLETE (surprise) lockdown all week. No groceries, no markets, no provisions. cops are patrolling the streets. People have no way to access food. It is getting bad,” Padte said.
“All worrying news out of Goa is odd. It is India’s most developed state, it’s geographically compact, has a solid welfare system – why is it breaking under lockdown? Why are there no groceries, and why is the CM asking for central paramilitary forces?” Mihir Sharma said.
Local resident Lyndon JP, a working professional, paints a grim summary of life in Goa on the eight consecutive day of the lockdown.
“Current situation in Goa: Increase my chances of contracting #COVID_19 or go mad at home due to hunger or go out to get supplies & get beaten by the cops! So many helplines, but no one answers or there’s no stock. Thanks for the brilliant organization @goacm #COVID2019india,” Lyndon says.
While smaller ‘mom and pop’ grocery stores are virtually out of stock in most places, the Chief Minister’s decision to shut down major grocery stores super markets and instead bank on a network of politicians and their volunteers to home deliver essentials has further added to the chaos, with allegations of hoarding by ruling politicians creeping in.
“Sir Chairman NDMA, @PMOINdia. Giving control to MLAs in Goa over groceries distribution isnot mitigating but leading to bigger disaster. Pl get @goacm to go by Disaster mgt Act, instead of unleashing CRPF on people,” Goa Aam Aadmi Party convenor Elvis Gomes tweeted.
Both, the state Bharatiya Janata Party president Sadanand Shet Tanavade and the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant have urged calm amid the increasing chaos and said that efforts were being made to strengthen the home distribution network.
On Sunday morning, the Sawant-led administration also authorized food delivery apps like Zomato and Swiggy to deliver food and groceries to people.