2-PRONGED STRATEGY ADOPTED TO ENSURE COVID-19 SAFETY FOR FARMERS/ARHTIYAS ETC AS WELL AS FOR PERSONAL PROTECTION
CHANDIGARH, APRIL 16 (Punjab Mail USA)- As many as 8620 Punjab Police personnel, alongwith 6483 volunteers, are maintaining a round-the-clock vigil at the Mandis and in Villages to ensure smooth procurement operations amid the COVID-19 crisis, with stringent guidelines for their own protection and for the strict enforcement of health and sanitation protocols as well as social distancing measures at all the Procurement centres.
Disclosing this here today, DGP Dinkar Gupta said as part of the two-pronged strategy adopted by the Punjab Police, the frontline police personnel on duty at the Mandis have been equipped to protect the farmers and others coming to these centres, while also ensuring their own protection.
All police personnel have been provided with face masks, gloves, hand sanitizers etc and also briefed about their proper usage. Police personnel having health issues, especially those relating to heart and respiratory issues, are not deployed for frontline duty. To ensure proper social distancing, PA systems are being used for effective dissemination of guidelines and instructions so that physical proximity is avoided at the procurement centres, which are being regularly sanitised.
The police personnel deployed in various Mandis have been asked to ensure checking at all entry/exit points, traffic flow and de-congestion of roads leading up to the Mandi (s)/sub-yards/purchase centres, besides ensuring law & order and proper flow of people and vehicular movement. They have also been tasked with maintaining social distancing at procurement centres, and checking the Passes issued to farmers and arthiyas to avoid crowding and congestion in the Mandis.
Gupta further disclosed that the Policemen have also been directed to ensure that Combine harvesters do not operate at night after 7 pm, and to allow only one trolley with one person having a valid coupon at the entry point of the village to go to the Mandi.
Elaborating on the role of volunteers during harvesting/procurement, Gupta said that they had been given the task of ensuring social distancing in Mandis, so as to make people, especially the farmers, aware about its significance. The volunteers have offered their services to assist the Police in enforcement of various measures such as maintaining social distancing, ensuring wearing of masks/gloves and use of sanitizers by farmers, labourers and other stakeholders.
Apart from these, they are also helping the police in management of traffic outside the Mandis and on roads leading to procurement locations. They are also asking farmers and labourers to maintain social distance, besides wearing masks or covering their faces with cloth, during harvesting.
The volunteers are also making announcement on PA systems at the entry points and inside Mandi premises about social distancing and Corona awareness, besides checking Passes and ensuring sanitisation of farmers. They also act as traffic marshals for the management of Combines and Tractor trolleys in the Mandis.
The volunteers have also been given the responsibility of access control by way of reception assistance and checking, distributing and vetting of various Passes of Commission agents and loaders etc besides providing assistance to the administration in ensuring food, water sanitation and hygiene by way of the `helping buddy’ scheme for the heterogeneous labour and migrants working from far off areas.
The volunteers have been drawn from various sources, such as from various villages (5600), GoG (1717), NCC (135), former policemen (102), Forest Guards (35), Youth & Sports Clubs (142). The DGP said they were being deployed only in large Mandis, as per the present plan.
The maximum of 992 Police personnel and 1919 volunteers are deployed in Sangrur district, followed by 676 and 69 in Patiala, 635 and 358 in Bathinda, 517 & 110 in Moga, 496 & 490 in Jalandhar Rural, 449 & 458 in Barnala, with the remaining on duty in other districts.