PANAJI: Amid chaos and panic in Goa following failure of the state government to provide essential goods, including groceries, a petition has been filed before the Bombay High Court in Goa on Thursday demanding to know what steps have been taken by the state authorities to provide essential goods to the people, especially those who live below the poverty line.
The petition also said, that the action of the Goa government to shut down grocery stores, along with other essential services, was in contravention of the assurance given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that essential commodities and groceries would be made available during the 21-day lockdown.
"There was a hearing today and Justice Mahesh Sonak has directed the state Advocate General to place on record the government's management plan (for providing essential commodities) by Friday," D'Sa told reporters.
"The undersigned states that the villages in Goa also do not have the logistics, manpower in place to deliver grocery door to door. Therefore the undersigned moves this Court, for a direction to the state government to place on an affidavit all measures being taken to take care of the persons who are daily wagers, citizens below poverty line and the common man," the petition filed by a city lawyer Rohit Bras D'Sa states.
"The undersigned states, that even the basic requirement of the groceries are unavailable. The Chief Minister and other officials are only indulging in lip-service and there has been no organisation and statistics in place to provide the people door-to-door delivery of groceries," D'sa states, adding that the irony of the ground-situation is that while bank ATMS are open, none is able to access them on account of the curfew.
"The plight of the persons below the poverty line and daily wage workers is even more despicable as state government has not made any attempt to provide them the basic essential commodities. It was incumbent on the authorities to ensure that the logistics were in place before the curfew came into force," D'Sa also said.
Earlier on Thursday, amid the panic caused due to non-availability of essential goods and complete closure of all markets and grocery stores, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant called for a meeting of major grocery store and super market owners to work out a strategy for allowing people access to essential commodities.