Coronavirus lockdown perfect opportunity to strengthen weak links in supply chain of essential goods

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Updated: May 07, 2020 2:46 PM

With the country remaining under a lockdown due to coronavirus, the supply chain of essential goods has been disrupted, but, the same has also presented the government with an opportunity to identify and plug those gaps.

Lockdown, , small shops, medium retailers, kirana storesWhile there are certain weak links that need to be strengthened, the country has moved rapidly to leverage resources at hand as well.

With the country remaining under a lockdown due to coronavirus, the supply chain of essential goods has been disrupted, but, the same has also presented the government with an opportunity to identify and plug those gaps, Parameswaran Iyer, secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation wrote in The Indian Express. While there are certain weak links that need to be strengthened, the country has moved rapidly to leverage resources at hand as well. Immediately after the lockdown was imposed, supplies of daily-use items such as food and medicines had taken a hit. The condition is now improving thanks to increased relaxations in lockdown 3.0 and strong partnerships within the country. The increased movement of food trucks in the last several days bears testimony.

As of 5 May, about 80% of trucks as a percentage of the average daily number of food trucks before the lockdown, are now running. This number has jumped from the 30% figure on March 30. In fact, after the MHA’s order that e-commerce can start delivering “non-essential” items, the movement of these items have also become fairly easy. In the past few weeks, the Indian Railways has also done major relief work with it transporting about eight million tonnes of foodgrain from the Food Corporation of India, Parameswaran Iyer wrote. While there are flight restrictions, airlines have contributed to relief work by transporting essential commodities to remote parts of the country.

Food Corporation of India has also done work towards relief and moved 1.93 lakh metric tonnes of grain in just two days in the initial period of lockdown. Kirana stores, NGOs and e-commerce players also did their part by delivering essentials to citizens on their doorstep. Delhi’s Azadpur Mandi has also pulled off a herculean task and is one of supply warriors as Asia’s largest wholesale fruit and vegetable market.

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